Opposing Sides Rally on Good Friday

Advocates on both sides of the abortion discussion descend on Planned Parenthood for Good Friday

Pro-Choice advocates flash their signs at man holding the crucifix on Good Friday (Preya Samsundar/Alpha News )

ST. PAUL, Minn. — During what many Christians and Jews refer to as Holy Week, members of the faithful gathered outside Minnesota’s Planned Parenthood Headquarters in St. Paul to voice their displeasure with the organization’s support of abortion.

The event, which has been held by pro-life advocates for several years, was peaceful. Clergy members came to speak out against abortion leading the attendees in prayer and singing hymns like “Amazing Grace.”

Several pro-life attendees told Alpha News the event was held on Good Friday to acknowledge the grace and forgiveness of Christ and to share their opposition to the death of children.

Meanwhile, pro-choice advocates held a counter-rally just feet away from the pro-life event. Many held signs, provided by Planned Parenthood, showing their support for the organization. Many attendees wore pussy hats and pink clothes. Pro-choice organizers even hired a jazz band that played throughout the event, drowning out the singing of hymns by pro-life supporters and prayers offered by Christian clergy.

Some attendees of the pro-Planned Parenthood rally told Alpha News they were in attendance to support the organization. One woman said she woke up after seeing a picture of President Donald Trump with only men surrounding him signing legislation that would affect women. She said you’d never see a woman president surrounded by other women. When asked about an all-male Supreme Court ruling for abortion rights in Roe v. Wade, she just kept saying, “it goes so far back.”

Planned Parenthood Minnesota was well prepared for the event, making sure volunteers were set up to direct those attempting to use Planned Parenthood services and those looking to support the non-profit.

The organization hired a security team that appeared to work in tandem with St. Paul police. Two mounted St. Paul police officers sat on the perimeter of the event, while the security team lined the fenced-in areas. One member of the security team told Alpha News that his company was contracted by Planned Parenthood and was just trying to ensure everyone was safe.

Advocates were separated by a fenced barricaded with a “no-go zone” in the middle. Security members kept everyone, including members of the press, out of the no-go area.

Even as the rain began to pour, advocates from both sides marched in circles within their confined areas. Pro-choice supporters held up their signs showing it to the other side as they marched along the barrier. Pro-lifers carried around a cross, similar in fashion to the “Via Dolorosa” – where Christians in Old Jerusalem carry a wooden cross to symbolize the path Christ took to the cross.

One man held a large crucifix just behind his own barrier, while one young man and a young woman kneeled to the ground saying the Rosary.

The event went on without disruption and remained peaceful. The rally was held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.