- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Andrea Pearson waited for years for the crisis of her pregnancy at age 18 to be over, but the “quick and easy” abortion she got at Planned Parenthood haunted her instead.

“What I felt was shame. I had just allowed a stranger to rip not only a part of my soul, but my baby, out of my body,” she told some 200 pro-life activists who gathered Tuesday on Capitol Hill, joining one of more than 65 other rallies coast to coast demanding that federal and state governments stop subsidizing the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Ms. Pearson spoke about her abortion in the wake of undercover videos — a third was released Tuesday morning — showing how Planned Parenthood clinics apparently engage in the buying and selling of fetal body parts obtained from abortions.

“I would relive” the abortion procedure for months,” said Ms. Pearson, who now speaks on behalf of the Silent No More Awareness campaign.

“I vividly remember the sounds of the suction, the physical pain, the coldness of the room and the other women’s vacant stares” in the recovery room, said Ms. Pearson, adding that her life soon spun out of control — resulting in two more abortions — until she found faith and healing at the Rachel’s Vineyard ministry.

Today, Ms. Pearson’s daughter, Madeline, 16, is a pro-life leader at her Loudoun County, Virginia, high school. Joining her mother at the microphone, Miss Pearson told the cheering crowd that “we will be the generation to end abortion.”

The pro-life activists at the coast-to-coast rallies Tuesday had two requests: Investigate Planned Parenthood and end its government subsidies, most notably the $500-million-a-year it gets from Washington. A bill to end those subsidies is now in Congress.

“We want this [defunding] bill on President Obama’s desk,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America and lead organizer with Pro-Life Future of the rallies, told the U.S. Capitol crowd.

That way, she said, Mr. Obama can decide whether he supports “the barbaric practice of dismembering human beings and selling their parts, piece by piece, or if he will stand with a majority of Americans who say, ‘No way, no way should this happen in our nation.’”

The rallies, under the banner #WomenBetrayed, were held hours after the Center for Medical Progress released a third undercover video.

This one showed people in a lab picking through the bloody pieces of an aborted 11-week-old fetus in a glass pie-baking dish. Planned Parenthood officials, and a medical director, are seen and heard discussing various organs and price structures for them.

Those conversations show this “is not a simple reimbursement” for shipping costs, said Ms. Hawkins. “Negotiating for a price is not reimbursement.”

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a Republican presidential candidate, told the Capitol rally that the Senate “will vote on defunding Planned Parenthood before we go home in August.”

He and two other Republican presidential candidates — Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson — also promised the crowd that they would defund Planned Parenthood if elected president.

The group also gets many millions of dollars from state governments and Republican governors in more than a half-dozen state capitols have taken up the investigate-and-defund demands in the two weeks since the first video was released.

House hearings into Planned Parenthood and the fetal-parts issue would begin in September, said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican.

Several speakers said the undercover videos presented a long-awaited game-changer in the abortion battle.

Viewing these videos is “like looking into hell,” said Marilyn Musgrave, a former congresswoman from Colorado and vice president of government affairs for the Susan B. Anthony List.

“Let this moment be a catalyst, let it be the gasoline on a fire that has been burning for 40 years,” said Matt Walsh, a popular conservative blogger. “Abortion is the greatest human rights crisis in the history of mankind, and let today be the beginning of the end,” he said.

Lawmakers have been passive in the face of evidence that abortion clinics have engaged in racial profiling, aided and abetted sex traffickers, and defrauded Medicaid, said Penny Nance, chief executive of Concerned Women for America.

Now, she said, it’s time to tell political leaders, “No more. No more. We will no longer fund death. It’s got to stop.”

In St. Louis, conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly joined some 300 people at the #WomenBetrayed rally outside the Planned Parenthood facility.

“It is an outrage that they are spending your money and my money to commit these terrible, grievous acts,” the Eagle Forum founder said.

Planned Parenthood supporters — including about 30 who stood apart from the Capitol pro-life rally and chanted support for the abortion giant — said the videos were taken illicitly and are heavily edited.

The Center for Medical Progress has posted the entirety of all three videos online.

The “anti-abortion extremists” doing the videos are misinterpreting fetal tissue donation, Debra Hauser, of Advocates for Youth, said Tuesday in an email to supporters.

“These donations help advance research into new treatments for diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure,” Ms. Hauser said.

The Planned Parenthood clinics that participate in this “should be applauded” for their contribution to human science, she said.

Ms. Hawkins scoffed at that description of her group and its allies.

More than 900 pro-life groups were behind Tuesday’s rallies, “and the majority of them are led by young women,” Ms. Hawkins said. “These are not militant or violent groups. These are just young people that Googled abortion, saw an ultrasound and made an informed decision” to oppose abortion.

Another nine videos are said to be planned by the Center for Medical Progress, led by David Daleiden. Pro-life groups are not getting previews of the videos, Ms. Hawkins said, because “everyone talks way too much.”

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