About 75 protesters prayed outside in the first Boston annual anti-abortion protest at the Commonwealth Planned Parenthood clinic on Saturday, April 23, 2016.
Most members and volunteers came from an organization named 40 Days For Life. It’s an international anti-abortion organization. Less than ten members gathered at this Planned Parenthood weekly, but this was their first annual protest. It lasted from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 40 Days For Life invited people from Massachusetts Citizens for Life and Pro Life Legal Defense Fund to come and to speak.
These Christian women held pro-life signs that read, “Pray For End Abortion,” “Defend Life,” and “I am a Voice, for the Voiceless.” some brought children with them. One mom took her own family, including her little son on the baby carriage, her 12-year-old daughter, her sister, and her sister’s son. An 8-year-old girl held a toy baby basket and a 10-year-old boy held the “Defend Life” sign with his mom.
“I got abortion several years before,“ Victoria Rio, a social worker, said. “I feel regretful for my unborn baby everyday. And my son is the great gift from god. I want him to know my abortion. And he wants to come with me today.”
Rev. Eugene Rivers, pastor of Christian Azusa Community Church, spoke first. He criticized the darkness of Planned Parenthood and its relation with the current U.S politics. Rivers didn’t like Hillary Clinton’s pro-abortion strategy. After the speech, he immediately went to protesters and took photos with them.
Anne Fox, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, mainly talked about the successful progress of 40 Days For Life campaign. “Since this campaign started nationally in 2007, 70 abortion facilities are closed and 11,796 lives have been saved from abortion.”
Not everyone was happy about the protest. A group of young males ran through the crowd. They gave the middle fingers to the protesters and yelled, “You know nothing. You idiots.” One female driver stopped her car and yelled to protesters, “Tell me what to do with my body one more time!”
When the President of Pro Life Legal Defense Fund Robert W. Joyce talked about the story of the organization’s founder Abraham Lincoln, it started raining. No one left and the protest lasted for another hour under the rain. Father McNamara concluded the 2-hour events with a spiritual reflection.
40 Days For Life volunteers approached people, especially young women or couples, who passed by the protest or intended to go inside the clinic. Planned Parenthood’s staff, who wore orange waistcoats, shielded them from disturbance. One Planned Parenthood volunteer said that these protesters used to prevent patients getting basic health care.
About five policemen from Boston Police came to the Planned Parenthood earlier than the protest started. They set the Boston Police barriers two meters in front of Planned Parenthood. During the protest, one female policeman kept yelling, “Don’t come to the driveway.” Other two male policemen stood on one side to chat with the manager of Planned Parenthood.
Rios said, “ I pray for ending abortion. I pray that no woman has to undergo that kind of terror, that suffering, that type of decision. And if they do, to know that there is forgiveness. People do that may don’t know the implication of their choice.”