Students for Life of America received the news just a few days ago that former First Daughter Barbara Pierce Bush would be the keynote speaker at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in Ft. Worth, Texas. We immediately decided to take action and pull together a group of people to protest at the site, standing up for women betrayed by the nation’s largest abortion provider and proclaiming that we don’t need or want Planned Parenthood.
Jillian Ferguson, SFLA’s Texas Regional Coordinator, who is also in the middle of touring the region with our We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood campus display, led the protest. Here’s what happened, in her own words:
Car after car pulled into the circle drive outside the Omni Hotel in Ft. Worth, depositing guests right in front of us. Many of the women found clever little ways to include Planned Parenthood’s signature color – Pepto-Bismol Pink – into their outfits. Blazers, jewelry, shoes – pink everywhere. It was a Wednesday after all and, as we all know, Mean Girls wear pink on Wednesdays.
Our team of pro-lifers was about 20 people strong. We had people from the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, Texas Pro-Life Action Team, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Pro-Life Waco, and Students for Life of America. We had enough of a presence to cover both sides of the street as well as both sides of the entrance. Everywhere people looked, they were going to see a pro-life sign. It was a perfect example of collaboration and unity in the pro-life movement and I am so grateful to everyone that came out for the peaceful protest.
All of the protesters greeted each other and the underlying tone was generally jovial until the masses of people started pouring in and reality set in. One woman said that over 1,000 people were attending and the news reported that the event raised “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The thought that 1,000 of these rich, privileged people were going to sit around eating their overpriced salad and making decisions about “healthcare” for struggling communities made me a little sick.
It’s so ironic to me that most of the people that Planned Parenthood claims to help wouldn’t even be able to afford the cost of valet parking at this event.
Generally, the reaction to our being there was as expected – lots of disapproving head shakes, pursed lips, and clever little quips to our “We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood” signs. There were a few middle fingers but the reactions were mostly mild – personally I think that it was because they didn’t want to mess up their expensive attire.
A lot of people walking by on the sidewalk were taking their own pictures and videos of our presence and one young man gave us a thumbs up and thanked us for being there.
There was a pro-lifer that had a sign that made it unclear at first glance that she was against Planned Parenthood and she got a lot of “good mornings,” “hellos,” and smiles – they reserved their grimaces and snarky comments for me and the other, more obvious pro-lifers.
We had one counter-protester that held up a sign supporting Planned Parenthood and that demanded that lawmakers and “old, male Christians” stop trying to control her body. At first, I wondered why she didn’t join the rest of the pro-choicers inside until I realized that, like most people, she probably couldn’t afford the ticket.
The media coverage was AMAZING. There were at least five or six cameras out at a time. I was interviewed at least half a dozen times. Some interviewers tried to trip me up with questions like “Isn’t Barbara Bush an adult that can form her own opinions and views on issues?” to which I responded with something along the lines of “Absolutely!
But I would hope that a woman as smart and savvy as Barbara Bush would do her research and cut through the propaganda and public relations to find out what Planned Parenthood is really about.” The rest of the questions, however, were expected and standard.
Overall I talked with media a lot about how confusing it was that someone like Barbara Bush, someone that so clearly cares about people as co-founder and CEO of Global Health Corps, would lend her time, abilities, and talents to an organization that so clearly does NOT care about people, especially women. I also discussed how her decision to speak at an event for the nation’s largest abortion provider goes against everything her very pro-life father stood for during his time as president.
I thought it was important to communicate to the media that the Pro-Life Generation is standing up and rejecting the message of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. They continually perpetuate the idea that women aren’t strong enough to be successful AND be a mother but the Pro-Life Generation knows that’s not true – we know that we are stronger and more capable than Planned Parenthood would like us to believe.
Our presence at this Planned Parenthood Luncheon was part of a larger, national movement that states that we don’t want or need Planned Parenthood. If our signs or presence encouraged even ONE attendee of the luncheon to look further into Planned Parenthood’s distasteful and even illegal practices, I consider the day a huge success.