Planned Parenthood De-Funding Protest Features Hymns vs. Obscenities

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BOSTON — Braving the frigid temperatures and icy sidewalks over the weekend, pro-lifers gathered at 1055 Commonwealth Avenue, the site of a Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts clinic, as part of a nationwide effort to push Congress and President Donald Trump to defund the organization.

This past Saturday, 218 such rallies happened across the nation, with three occurring in Massachusetts. Speakers addressed the gathered crowds, giving testament to their own pro-life vision and the varied reasons behind their support for their cause.

Andrew Beckwith, the president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, from his perch atop a snowbank on the sidewalk, spoke to the protesters gathered outside Boston’s clinic, enjoining them to continue their witness for life, and to not cease and desist until the laws of the country and of the state defend all life from conception until natural death.

Speaking with New Boston Post, Beckwith cited his own faith as well as the mission of the organization he leads as among his reasons for speaking at the rally. “Our institute is primarily committed to three causes, first the sanctity of life, then the defense of natural marriage and the protection of religious liberty.”

Beckwith, as well as the event’s other speakers, had to shout their words of encouragement over not only the noise of city traffic, but also over the shouts and chants of the counter-protesters who came out in an attempt to drown out the pro-life message.

Undeterred by the counter-protesters, Father Mike McNamara, the founder of Servants of Christ Ministries, moved to the center of the assembly and began praying aloud as several counter-protesters broke from their group and walked up and down the line of pro-lifers, chanting for abortion on demand and yelling obscenities at the pro-life men. 

“We won’t get anywhere by shouting at each other. We have to pray for them. That is the only thing that will silence them,” he assured the gathered pro-life advocates, before raising his hands and leading them in singing hymns and saying prayers for the women and children affected by abortion.

When contacted about the rally, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts told New Boston Post that counter-protesters were actively discouraged because pro-life protesters already provided enough “harassment and intimidation” for the women entering the clinic. However, at the time of the rally, no Planned Parenthood employees addressed the gathered counter-protesters.

For Becky Mongeau, the community relations manager for Boston’s Catholic Radio Network, nothing could deter her from attending the rally. “It feels completely necessary, an obligation really, to defend life,” she told New Boston Post.