A lunchtime sidewalk rally in front of an abortion facility just north of downtown Phoenix June 6 drew people from all over the Valley. They came to voice their concern about late-term abortions, and more particularly, infanticide.
Lila Rose, whose youth-led Live Action movement is committed to ending abortion, organized the rally outside of Family Planning Associates Medical Group, 1331 N. 7th Street. It was there that her team of undercover investigators reported finding late last year that the 20-year-old clinic’s medical staff would leave — and have left — to die babies who survived abortions.
“We’ve seen at this center, not only the killing of children who are able to survive on their own after 24 weeks,” Rose told the crowd, but staff who tell medical lies and ignore federal and state law.
Abortion is illegal in Arizona after 24 weeks.
Pro-lifers of all ages, including a few priests and women religious, squeezed together on both sides of the street. They used pre-made signs, handmade signs featuring Our Lady of Guadalupe, T-shirts and even an umbrella to share facts about unborn babies and post-abortive parents.
Rose called a doctor’s statement about fetal development at the self-proclaimed “premiere provider of abortion” in the state untrue and “an offense to anyone who has had a premature baby.”
The video investigation — available online — features a doctor saying that at 23.5 weeks, the baby “doesn’t even look like a baby yet.” Melanie Pritchard with the Phoenix-based Foundation for Life and Love, respectfully disagreed.
She recounted for the crowd the story about a 22-week-old fetus, who became her friend’s 22-week-old newborn earlier this year. LifeSiteNews re-posted her story June 4. Pritchard described how Celeste, a name that means “heavenly,” lived outside the womb for three short hours. It was long enough for a family photo shoot that included Celeste’s big sister, and long enough for her parents to bond with her and sing to her.
“Celeste is a game-changer in this world,” Pritchard said.
Regardless of the length of life, each person deserves to be shown love, she said.
“This debate is really about whether a child is wanted or desired,” Pritchard said. “A human being should be entitled to life whether their parents want it or not.”
Vanessa Tedesco, a regional coordinator with Phoenix’s Silent No More awareness campaign for post-abortive parents, recalled her abortion five years ago. The young mother of five just couldn’t see herself having more kids. She longed to hear someone who would give her the courage to change her mind. No one spoke up.
She didn’t even get a glimpse of her unborn child. She tried, but the doctor turned the screen away. Tedesco’s heartache was clear. She longed to be spending the summer helping her now-deceased daughter getting ready for kindergarten. She even wanted to hear her complain that her pigtails were too tight.
Jason Walsh, the incoming director for Arizona Right to Life, said the rally and Live Action’s undercover video served as a chance to reveal that what is going on behind “these abortion clearinghouses must be a priority.”
“How long can we continue with business as usual? Is it not the most heinous form of discrimination?” Walsh challenged the crowd.
Lila Rose isn’t being silent. She wrote letters to Arizona’s governor and other local and national legislators last month urging them to investigate and prosecute Family Planning Associates Medical Group. Phoenix is only the third in a six-month video investigation exposing gruesome practices at abortion centers nationwide. The videos show “brutal and inhuman practices” that Americans must end.
“The final goal is the complete protection of human life from the moment of conception,” Rose said. “They’re valuable because to be human is enough.”