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Pacificans Picket Planned Parenthood in Redwood City

Churchgoers took their anti-abortion stance to a proposed Planned Parenthood location last week.

A small group of parishioners  from a Pacifica Catholic congregation, , picketed outside of a proposed Planned Parenthood site in Redwood City last week.

The protest was part of an anti-abortion campaign organized by 40 Days for Life which, according to a statement issued by the organization, is  "a community-based campaign that draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of a three point program: prayer and fasting, constant vigil, community outreach."

The campaign started on March 9 and lasts until April 17. 

In 1998, the organization's National Campaign Director David Bereit led the first 40 Days for Life campaign in College Station, Texas, in an effort to stop Planned Parenthood from building an "abortion clinic" in the town. 

Planned Parenthood is not a self-described “abortion clinic,” but a “trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world,” according to a statement from the network of clinics. Planned Parenthood clinics provide reproductive health care and also medical procedures for abortion.

Since the inception of this first campaign, 40 Days for Life has been closely affiliated with Christian religious values and is organized at a grass-roots level among Christian congregations across the U.S. 

Pacifica's Church of the Good Shepherd is one of those participating congregations.

On Thursday, a small group representing Good Shepherd stood in 80 degree heat with picket signs reading “Defend Life” and “Pray to End Abortion” at the corner of El Camino Real and Renato Court in Redwood City--an empty lot where Planned Parenthood Mar Monte has applied for a permit.

Among the group were two members of the Knights of Columbus, an international Christian brotherhood of an estimated 1.8 million members: Jeff Patino and Joe Delorio.

Patino is a father of nine. His wife and young son also stood with picket signs in support of the 40 Days for Life campaign. 

Like the other 40 Days for Life picketers, Patino does not want a Planned Parenthood to be established in Redwood City, or anywhere for that matter, as long as the clinics perform abortion procedures.

"There are other options,", said Delorio, adding that the Knights of Columbus organization offers resources for soon-to-be fathers and donates to pro-life centers for women in at-risk pregnancies. 

By Planned Parenthood's account, the potential establishment of this clinic is essential to the community of Redwood City. 

According to a statement from Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, “The dismal economy has created an especially urgent need for Planned Parenthood’s services, including contraception, breast- and cervical-cancer screening and general health care for adults.”

Patino disputes any assertion that the 40 Days for Life campaign stands in the way of providing such medical care to low-income women, who make up the majority of Planned Parenthood’s clients.

“Planned Parenthood is crying foul that people like us are taking away health services from unfortunate young ladies who need it,” said Patino. “We have no problem providing tax dollars for health care, we just don’t want to fund abortion."

Whether or not the proposed Planned Parenthood clinic will open at this site in Redwood City is yet to be determined by the city’s zoning department.

Redwood City Patch previously reported that a  was held in January, and residents on both sides of the fence shared their input both for and against the clinic.

Good Shepherd Church did not return a request for comment on the protest at the time of publishing this article.  

Cris April 30, 2011 at 02:49 AM
Diana, it may be that you hang out in different circles than I do. Many of my friends had very positive experiences at Planned Parenthood. I can only think of one exception, which was a friend who found out she had HIV at the clinic. That was not fun at all, but you can't blame Planned Parenthood on that. At least they gave her the opportunity to get tested in a safe, anonymous and free manner. They also had counseling available to her at no charge. Also, you may not be aware, but abortions are only 3% of the services PP offers and even those receive no federal funding. I pray for the day we can actually work together to reduce the unwanted pregnancies and therefore the abortion rate. PP does so much to reduce unwanted pregnancies, we need to encourage that wholeheartedly.
Nunu June 02, 2011 at 07:22 PM
Nina, I, like most people, am all for choice of free will in life. That doesn't mean, though, that you should be allowed to act out on choices that are intrinsically evil. You should never be allowed to shoot & kill your neighbor just because you disagree with their politics. Do you realize the CHOICE one makes in the issue of abortion? Don't say you're a Catholic and you support abortion but NOT against God. GOD is LIFE and TRUTH, and abortion is ending a life; hence YOU ARE AGAINST GOD WHEN YOU ARE ENDING A LIFE! That is basic fundamental TRUTH. I pray you learn more about your Catholic Faith. Nobody is against health care services, but Planned Parenthood uses the term "Family Planning" to envelop abortion in it. Abortion is NOT family planning. Abortion is ending a life which means murder. Abortion is where PP makes most of their money. PP will not be in existence today if they didn't do abortions.
Nunu June 02, 2011 at 07:28 PM
"Unwanted pregnancies" are emotions and so-called choice of the mother and/or father, but NEVER changes the innocense of the baby. Whether through rape, incest, or what have you, babies are ALWAYS, ALWAYS innocent! The nightmares of rape victims are usually intensified during the pregnancy period Many mothers start a healing process once the baby is born. And while it may take months, even years, for some women to heal, they DO heal through counselling, and a strong support system. They heal because people and situations change; they heal because time changes. But nothing changes the nightmares of women who have CHOSEN to end the lives of their babies. Those nightmares stay with them forever and they're constantly reminded of the abortions they've had when they see other children of the same age or would have been same age. Have you ever heard of our Catholic teaching on 'just war' and 'capital punishment'? God Bless!
Bob Larsen June 18, 2011 at 07:17 PM
You'll find, most people in the U.S.A., will say to draw the line at rape, incest and mother's life in danger, in regards to abortion. Most pro abortionists will use the "rape argument" to justify abortion for any reason - even for cosmetic purposes in regards to "disfiguring" a woman's figure - so, the "rape argument" doesn't hold water in regards to current abortion laws.
Michael October 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Fine, if it's a requirement of a persons life that they pray to end rape and incest and stupidity that's great, so long as in addition to prayer they actually get up off of their backsides and DO SOMETHING about these problems. Education of young men and women is by far the best solution, yet whenever a proposal comes forward to provide education the majority vote it down as "too expensive". Well guess what folks, you can't have it both ways! Education REQUIRES funding! If you are unwilling to help foot the bills, then shut yer yaps!

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