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Pro-life advocates rally, question Planned Parenthood practices

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Hundreds rallied outside three West Michigan Planned Parenthood locations Saturday afternoon.

Pro-life activists said they were taking a stand on a controversial issue affecting people nationwide.

The protests come after the Center for Medical Progress released eight undercover videos speaking out against Planned Parenthood, but it's what they're suggesting in those videos that sparked the protests Saturday.

"Today is a day of protest against what is happening to babies who can’t think for themselves," said Mark Gurley, the Director of Michigan Oak Initiative.

More than 400 people protested to raise awareness of Planned Parenthood and what they claim are 'gruesome' practices.

Rallies were held at Planned Parenthood's Grand Rapids, Wyoming and Byron Center locations Saturday.

"This really betrays me as a woman that Planned Parenthood, an organization that so many women have trusted, are now cutting up their babies and selling their baby parts for more money," Mary Joe Thayer, a Grand Rapids Right to Life board member.

That's what pro-life activists and so many others believe is happening inside Planned Parenthood locations across the state.

"They’re here in peaceful protest to bring awareness to what’s actually happening in this country," said Thayer.

Saturday's rallies, here in West Michigan were part of a larger series of protests happening nationwide.

"So that’s why we’re here, to stand for women, to stand for life and just expose Planned Parenthood for what it is," Thayer said.

Protestors making national headlines after the CMP released undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the selling and harvesting of fetal tissue, something Planned Parenthood say's isn't true.

"Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan has never participated in any fetal tissue donation programs," said Jim Norton, the Interim President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan

"Planned Parenthood says 'the videos' are highly edited. Go online and watch the whole thing, it’s clear what these doctors are doing and we’re paying for it, half a billion dollars of our tax money every year goes to Planned Parenthood so they continue to make more money," Thayer said.

Saturday's protestors, are now calling on lawmakers to cut federal funding, adding that Planned Parenthood is costing U.S taxpayers an arm and leg, literally.

Planned Parenthood says those funds are spent on things like cancer screenings, exams, birth control and STD testing, but not abortions.

"I’m 100 percent confident that all of our sister affiliates around the country are operating on 100 percent accordance of all laws rules and guidelines," Norton said.

Mark Gurley say's if Planned Parenthood doesn't sell baby parts, they need to prove it.

"Attacks on women’s healthcare are nothing new, but this one really hits a new low. You know, the scale to this is scary, they created a fake company, filed fake tax documents and used fake government I.D’s," Norton said.

Planned Parenthood tells Fox 17 that they were aware of Saturday's protests and chose to let activists rally in peace.

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  • Spot

    “We will not fund murder”

    What the hell do they think our $875 billion a year military budget does? How do you live lives so divorced from reality?

    • Libssuck

      You libs love your dead baby’s but whine like little brats when a goat humping child molesting terrorists gets killed.
      Yeah, that’s divorced from reality .

      Don’t like the defense of freedom? put your money where you mouth is, take a trip to Iran or Iraq and brag to them you’re n American liberal everything that stands for and see how long you live. do that, and tell us about “reality”.

  • Kevin Rahe

    Thank you Fox 17 for still permitting the public to comment freely on news stories, unlike TV8 and MLive.

    And thank you Mary Jo and others for standing up for life – I wish I could have been there with you!

    It’s clear from the videos that tissue and organ “donation” from aborted babies is not a profit-neutral activity for Planned Parenthood, but aside from that it’s sick that they find babies who aren’t worthy of their own life are just fine as spare parts for others to experiment on and profit from, and that they facilitate in any way the collection of bodies and organs from unwilling donors, regardless of whether it makes them money.

    • Copy_Culture (@Copy_Culture)

      Question: the fetuses will be thrown in the garbage or incinerated. Is that better? The choice is: discard them entirely, or use them for helpful research. This is not hard. I know your answer will be “don’t abort in the first place,” which makes no sense unless you subscribe to a whole slew of demonstrably false background assumptions.

      • Kevin Rahe

        I suppose that was the same logic the Nazis used to justify experimenting on Jews. But is the fact that those Jews weren’t “wasted” adequate justification for the experiments that were done on them?

        And just to respond to your other argument, you are correct – there is no justification for abortion in the first place. That pro-life position, however, does not rely on any false assumptions. If it did, I couldn’t be pro-life.

        • Copy_Culture (@Copy_Culture)

          Well if that’s the logic you suppose, then you’re not very smart. Abortion is not at all the same as the systematic extermination of a race of people, *because of* the race of that people. Duh.

          And just to respond to your response: you beg the question (i.e., argue in a circle) when you say that, since you are relying on the very assumptions you say aren’t there! But they are: your religious assumptions are both demonstrably false (some of them) and empirically inadequate (others of them). It has to do with how you define ‘person’, and that is in no uncertain terms a settled argument.

          Friend: try again.

          • Kevin Rahe

            Does the REASON you wantonly kill another person make it more or less wrong to do so? Killing someone is killing someone, and it’s wrong for that simple fact. But you demonstrate aptly the modern confusion that killing someone because of their race or some other personal attribute – e.g. a “hate” crime – is somehow worse than killing someone because you want to rob them. If you remain stuck on that as being something significant, though, I would point out that 79% of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African/American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.

            “Person” is a purely philosophical/legal term that has no practical meaning and is scientifically irrelevant. It USED to be synonymous with “human being,” a term that IS scientifically relevant, but its meaning has diverged from that standard in recent decades. We’ve already made significant alterations to the definition of “person” just in this country’s short history, including flipping twice as to how it relates to abortion alone. It’s certainly not a term that is stable enough to form a basis for one’s idea of what is right or wrong.

            I say that abortion takes the life of a complete, distinct, living, unconditionally viable and fully human being. That idea depends not a whit on anyone’s religion, and though several have tried no one has been able to produce science that contradicts it.

  • AB

    How about news media shares all of the perspectives? Such as how Planned Parenthood does not perform abortions in Michigan? That might make it appear more objective. So of courses the protesters can rally all they want. It’s a moot point. Which just weakens the waste of a cause. Let women make decisions that are best for them.

    • Kevin Rahe

      Planned Parenthoods are all affiliated with one another and the protests are a nationwide effort, with one of the objectives being to eliminate federal funding for the organization, which of course involves all of us. It’s difficult to square your suggestion that women be allowed to “make decisions that are best for them” with them having a say in whether someone ELSE’s body or organs are donated to science. Can you explain that?

      • AB

        That’s a blanket protest that’s a moot point in Grand Rapids. As for the body parts, we are talking about women, not unviable weeks old embryos and fetuses that could not live outside of the uterus. Are you honestly saying that a woman can’t decide anything on her own fate and how it affects her life? All for the sake of a supposed practice that is being found to be more and more false? So are you supporting an increase to child welfare? Because while abortion rates are dropping with better access and education, there would still be thousands of unwanted and unhealthy future children and I don’t know that many people willing to take on the burden.

        • Kevin Rahe

          >As for the body parts, we are talking about women, not unviable weeks
          >old embryos and fetuses that could not live outside of the uterus.

          Are you telling me that if we did a DNA test on the bodies and organs in question that it would match the DNA of a woman who has procured an abortion?

    • Rebekah

      Better yet, why don’t they address the fact that NO Planned Parenthood clinic actually provides “basic womens’ healthcare” like cancer screenings, mammograms, etc. like they claim to. How ’bout that Cecile?

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