Abortion, Human Dignity, Religion and the Public Square It’s Time to Teach Our Children to Stand Up for Life—No Matter Who Stands in Their Way

May 17, 2019 by

It’s not enough to teach our children that life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. We must also teach them to declare the truths of our faith in the public square. Inside the loving embrace of the family, the faithful need to raise a new generation of Christians that stands up for life and boldly proclaims their faith, understanding that no one, not even an elected official, has the right to stand in their way.

In all honesty, I was not keen on the idea of my wife, Ashley, taking my two teenage daughters and their friend to pray in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic located at 12th and Locust Streets in downtown Philadelphia.

I am a native Philadelphian, born and raised inside the city limits. I have seen firsthand both the exhilarating diversity of opinion that exists in our metropolis and the unfortunate misconduct and delinquency that plague the city. Ashley grew up on the beaches of San Diego and has more experience with surfboards than ruffians. But it was Holy Thursday, and she convinced me that praying in front of the clinic was a good thing to do for the sake of standing up for life and as an act of service before our family began observing the Triduum that evening at Mass.

The Confrontation

As it turns out, my concerns were well founded. About twenty minutes into praying the rosary, Ashley and the girls were aggressively approached by a man who we later learned was State Representative Brian Sims. He began yelling at them, telling them that they should be ashamed for threatening young girls who were coming to Planned Parenthood for “basic clinical care.” He accused the girls of being “white racists” who wanted to tell women of color what they can and can’t do with their own bodies. At one point, Mr. Sims started walking directly toward the three teenagers, and Ashley felt compelled to step in front of him, deliberately forming a buffer between him and the girls. She asked him repeatedly to speak only to her as the adult, tried to introduce herself, and said over and over again that they were just there to pray peacefully for the women and babies in the building.

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