By: Emily Berning, Co-Founder & President of Let Them Live
Last Thursday evening, my team at Let Them Live piled into a Fiat and drove over 10 hours to Philadelphia. We rolled in around 4:00 am on Friday morning.
So why the spontaneous road trip to the East Coast?
Just over a week ago, Democratic Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims recorded himself harassing an elderly woman and teenage girls praying in front of Planned Parenthood. They were peacefully, and quietly, protesting the over 300,000 abortions Planned Parenthood performs every year. Once he posted the video to social media it went viral, and so did the idea for a rally in protest of his uncalled-for actions.
In just a few days, that idea became a reality as groups like Live Action, Human Defense Initiative, 40 Days for Life, and Let Them Live rallied their bases from social media. We were rallying in protest of not only Sims and his actions but also the most horrific mass genocide in history: abortion.
And, let me tell you, that overnight road trip in cramped quarters was totally worth it.
Gathered in front of the Planned Parenthood - Elizabeth Blackwell “Health” Center in Philadelphia, over 1,000 pro-life advocates came from near and far to hear speakers like Lila Rose, Abby Johnson, Matt Walsh, and Dr. Monique Ruberu.
The tone of the event was very different from the tone that Brian Sims set as he harassed peaceful pro-life activists on video. While he might claim that it is pro-life advocates that are the bullies, this rally (and his own actions) proved him wrong.
The speakers spoke with grace and love. And while they condemned the actions of Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia (not only for performing abortions but also for failing clinic inspections and failing to report abuse of minors), they never condemned the clinic workers or volunteers – a handful of which were present, silently standing on the sidewalk. No one stopped to publicly shame them, video them, and call them “shameful” or “disgusting.” Turns out Brian Sims is the only one guilty of that.
Seeing so many passionate people and hearing from some of the best pro-life activists rekindled our fire in the fight against abortion.
And we also took away an important lesson: The pro-life movement is getting bigger, not smaller.
We are more equipped than ever to defeat abortion. And there is no stopping us until every single life is protected.