NASHVILLE (BP) — Southern Baptists were among an estimated 50,000–75,000 pro-life activists who protested at Planned Parenthood clinics across America on Aug. 22, calling for the defunding of the nation’s largest abortion provider.
Protestors in more than 350 cities across 47 states, according to statistics reported by LifeNews.com, joined what The Washington Post called “the largest-ever rally against” Planned Parenthood. Organized by a coalition of at least 60 pro-life groups known as ProtestPP, the demonstrations came in the wake of eight undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress allegedly showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of baby parts obtained through abortion.
Students, faculty and staff from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, bolstered 500 pro-life protesters at Louisville’s Planned Parenthood office Aug. 22.
Phillip Bethancourt, executive vice president for Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said he protested at a Nashville Planned Parenthood clinic with three of his four children, ages 6, 5 and 3.
“To see over 300 people — of all ages, races and denominations — joined together outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Nashville for a time of prayer and worship was a powerful and inspiring moment. I hope my boys, who came with me to the event, will look back when they are older and see that 2015 was a turning point for protecting the sanctity of life.”
Southern Seminary doctoral student Andrew King, who also leads pro-life group Speak for the Unborn, participated in the Louisville protest, saying, “We must stand not just against Planned Parenthood and organizations like it. Rather, we must stand against a culture of death armed with a Gospel that gives life.”
In Alabama, Planned Parenthood protests have occurred in Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile.