Pro-lifers, encouraged by election results, protest Planned Parenthood

Pro-life demonstrators hold signs outside the Planned Parenthood facility on Cass Avenue in Midtown Detroit on Feb. 11 in hopes of encouraging legislators to end federal funding for the abortion giant. (Dan Meloy | The Michigan Catholic)

DETROIT — Spurred by the election of President Donald Trump and a pro-life-majority Congress in November, thousands of pro-lifers across the country gathered at Planned Parenthood facilities to protest federal funding of the clinics Feb. 11.

In Detroit, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and Pro-Life Detroit co-sponsored a protest at the Planned Parenthood facility on Cass Avenue in Midtown Detroit.

The demonstration was met with counter-demonstrations about the issue, but Monica Migliorino Miller, president of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, noted the importance of spurring the new administration in crafting pro-life policies.

“We picked today to protest, because we know we need to make an issue out of defunding Planned Parenthood soon after the Trump election,” said Miller, associate professor of religious studies at Madonna University. “The fact it’s attracted so much opposition shows you they know this is an issue where they’re losing momentum.”

Miller said the demonstrations are meant to protest the $430 million in federal funding Planned Parenthood receives.

Pro-life demonstrators line the sidewalk while holding signs and praying the rosary. (Dan Meloy | The Michigan Catholic)

“We wouldn’t support an organization that discriminates against Muslims or an organization that discriminates against African-Americans, so why would we want our tax money supporting an organization that discriminates against unborn children?” Miller said.

Lynn Mills, director of Pro-Life Detroit, said the organization gladly supports women’s health facilities that offer important health services, but argues Planned Parenthood primarily provides abortions and abortion-related services.

“Monica and her team and I asked Planned Parenthood what health care they provide, and it’s all waist-down,” Mills said. “If you have an ear infection or a sore throat, they outsource you. For men, anything besides a vasectomy or a swab to make sure you don’t have an STD, and they’ll outsource you.”

The pro-life supporters stood before the Planned Parenthood facility praying the rosary and holding up signs.

“I’m here for the fight for defunding Planned Parenthood and hopefully taking those funds and putting them toward community health centers that are more prevalent and do more than what Planned Parenthood does,” said Madeline Fortener of Wyandotte. “The community health centers we’re pushing for do a lot more than what Planned Parenthood does — Planned Parenthood mostly does abortions.”

Fortener, who was protesting with her sister, Mackenzie, said Planned Parenthood supporters often skew statistics on abortion services to misrepresent what the organization provides for women, counting only one abortion for 10 other services that are related to abortion.

“They don’t do pre-natal care, they don’t do mammograms like they say; they push these abortions, and I think it’s wrong,” Fortener said. “I would like to see the turnover of Roe v. Wade, so the decision of abortion can go back to the states, and these women who want to get abortions can go live in those states, so I don’t have to pay for it.”


Defund Planned Parenthood

To learn more about the pro-life movement’s efforts to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, including future rallies and updates, visit