Despite the lack of news coverage from the mainstream media, the political happenings in my South Bay, Calif., home are getting more attention.
In wealthy suburban Palos Verdes, once the most expensive real estate in the country, concerned conservative parents have led the successful fight to stop Common Core. In Redondo Beach and El Segundo, Mayors Steve Aspel and Suzanne Fuentes are blocking Big Labor on their demands for larger pensions and benefits at taxpayers’ expense.
On Saturday, August 22, 2015 pro-life advocates all over the country staged protests at Planned Parenthood sites, including Lawndale, Calif., in the heart of the South Bay. After the release of not one or two, but now eight undercover videos, exposing the harvesting of dead baby parts, undercover investigators opened our eyes into the ready-made underground trade of fetal issue, sold “like parts to a Buick.” They exposed the insidious nature of Planned Parenthood.
For years, I have driven up and down Hawthorne Blvd, the state highway connecting the major cities of the South Bay to the rest of Los Angeles County. The street is named after the famous American author who in turn wrote about the preciousness of life, even if conceived in the most questionable of circumstances (The Scarlet Letter). This main artery for the region, taking heavy traffic and leading all the way to the tips of Palos Verdes’ Portuguese Bend, became a key battleground in the conservative fight for life. Not once did I know that in the relatively wealthy to well-off areas of Los Angeles County that Planned Parenthood had moved in, making its stance – and stain in my backyard.
Lawndale, California is called “The Heart of the South Bay”, yet right in the heart of this little city is a branch of the taxpayer subsidized clinic Planned Parenthood, an institutions which performs numerous abortions on unsuspecting or confused young women, an institution where professions took great pains to remove babies’ hearts to sell to the highest bidder.
Organizers from all over the region, from Torrance and the Beach Cities, to Gardena, Carson, and even Long Beach lined up all over the intersection outside of Planned Parenthood. “The palm trees growing outside the building used to hide the PP marquee”, one protester told me. Not anymore. In a telling if not sickening irony, a bill board just north of the building displayed an Ad Council advertisement to help feed children, since one of five go to be hungry. Another non-descript storefront promoted Covered California, the most well-known yet still failing flagship Obamacare state exchange.
All along the middle of Hawthorne Blvd and along the sidewalks, young and old, all races and ethnic backgrounds, were rallying for life. Some organizers had feared that pro-Planned Parenthood forces would counter-protest, and the demonstration would get ugly. Aside from one ugly heckler hurling F-bombs, no one disturbed the pro-life rally. Signs abounded the intersection, where pro-lifers loudly and proudly protested with pithy posters. One sign corrected the organization’s namesake and retitled the taxpayer funded abortion mill “Planned Murder-hood.” I held signs with “Not For Sale” and “All Lives Matter”. “Repent and return to Jesus” read another. “Babies Lives Matter” appeared a few times. “PP: The Scourge of Lawndale” and “Abortion is never safe” stood out on an island in the street. In light of all the protests from the #BlackLivesMatter crowds, when will black activists face another grim fact: the most dangerous place for an African-American baby is in its mother’s womb, since so many have ended up aborted.
Jean Wiltfong, a thirty-plus resident of Lawndale, remembered the day when Planned Murderhood moved into the city: “They said for the longest time that no one bothers them.” Not anymore. With cars honking support for the pro-life activists, it was clear that Planned Parenthood could no longer hide nor justify its heinous wrongdoing in the middle of my neighborhood. Despite the undue influence of liberal pro-abortion Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Torrance, Hawthorne), conservative Republicans are inching back into power in the South Bay, too, including Lawndale.
Another protester, whom I had met at Tea Party rallies in Torrance, told me that her activism began much earlier fighting against abortion and promoting life. Who could blame her? Without life, there is no liberty and certainly no pursuit of happiness. She even served jail time for her activities against infanticide, and spent time in a hard-core women’s prisons. She met a violent woman, who had murdered her own husband, and she was pregnant. “I persuaded her not to abort the child, but to give it up for adoption. Prison is no place for a child to grow up.” Today, ne efforts ensured that one more child has grown up.
Another woman bore a sign: “I regret my abortion.” This demonstrator, Heather, opened up about the circumstances which drove her to abort her child, and the trauma and redemption which followed. “My husband and I got pregnant before we married, before we came to believe in the Lord.” She has five children now, then corrected herself: “I have seven children”, include the aborted child and a miscarriage. “I had to come out of the shadows and share this.” Another woman recounted a happier story on her poster: “At 17 years, I had an ultrasound before my abortion. I chose life.” Her daughter was standing right next to her.
In the South Bay, in the heart of the region, pro-lifers were protesting for the life of every child. “Extra Extra, read all about it! We’re pro-life, there’s no doubt about it!” Impressive and inspiring, the chant of these young people included older generations, and brought to life the slogan “I am the pro-life generation”.
In the South Bay, near my home town, I joined the movement against Planned Parenthood, and we are seeing the right to and the fight for life on the rise once again.