If waving giant placards featuring graphic photos of supposedly-aborted fetuses while yelling at women who are just trying to get a damned pap smear is your idea of Saturday morning fun, you are in luck.
A group calling itself #ProtestPP plans to protest outside the Tampa Planned Parenthood clinic at 8068 56th Street Saturday morning from 9 to 11 a.m. to call on Congress to defund the controversial family planning nonprofit, which could also mean screaming "baby killer" at patients, staff and volunteers helping escort patients into the clinic.
“The defunding of Planned Parenthood is a matter of moral principle. Not a single cent of American tax dollars should go to an organization that kills innocent human life,” said Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, in a written statement.
Man, someone really oughtta tell her about the American tax dollars going to unmanned drones and the criminal justice system.
Pro-choice advocates will also be on hand, not to counter-protest, they say, but to help patients get into the building safely, thereby showing support to women who are probably just trying to get their annual pap or birth control prescription on their day off and didn't think they'd have to put up with being harassed by a bunch of scientifically illiterate religious fanatics the GOP has duped into voting against their own interests.
Organizers of the pro-Planned Parenthood event say they plan on remaining silent throughout the event — not letting the guy with the bullhorn or anyone else goad them into a shouting match that will lead absolutely nowhere except maybe to a physical altercation, which volunteers want to avoid.
Training sessions aimed at showing volunteers how to help patients get safely into the building have been packed of late. In St. Pete, the venue for a Feb. 7 training session had to be moved to accommodate the high volume of prospective volunteers, and coordinators are hoping that volunteers will outnumber the protesters.
“Now people are paying attention,” said Wendy Cartwright, a pro-choice volunteer who has attended multiple protests like the one scheduled for Saturday. “Now there's so much focus on everything that people want to help and want to be active.”
Cartwright is currently out of town and not able to attend Saturday's event, but she said these events can get pretty intense.
“The intent is to disrupt and intimidate the patients. That's what they're trying to do,” she said. “It can get ugly, depending on the crowd.”
According to the pro-Planned Parenthood Facebook event page, registration for the event has been closed.