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Huffington Post Just Can’t Get it Right
See Here your CPLS Director’s Response to This False Characterization of Pro-lifers Including Red Rose Rescuers
Ah well. It’s Huff Po!!
Soon after our May 14th Red Rose Rescue in Grand Rapids, MI Your CPLS director was contacted by Huffington Post reporter Melissa Jeltsen. After much discernment and asking the advice of other pro-lifers, I granted her an interview. Maybe I should have listened to Lynn Mills of Pro-Life Michigan, who said—“Don’t do it!”
See here the article annotated by me—what a mess it was ! The article appeared May 21st. See Link at end of this memo. Feel free to tell the reporter what you think. And no more interviews with Huff Po—that’s for sure-- Monica of CPLS melissa.jeltsen@huffpost.com
Dear Melissa,
I finally had a chance to read your article. Sadly, I have to say, your article is the reason why pro-lifers like me do not want to talk to reporters like you. I asked for fairness and to be treated as if I were a real flesh and blood person--rather than the ideologically-driven caricature that is the usual way we are treated in media like Huff PO that endorses legalized abortion. If this is what you consider a fair and balanced report of "anti-abortion" activism, I would hate to see what an unfair article would look like.
Everything here is slanted to make it look as if we are the "bad guys" beginning with the highly inflammatory sub-headline that describes us as harassing women. And here your article is already off to the races. Reporters like you apparently cannot break out of the accepted jargon in reporting on pro-lifers. It's just the same old thing. You are locked in your own close-mindedness.
I highlighted in blue font the words you chose to portray us negatively (skipping those of the clinic director) and in red font are corrections of your many factual errors. I spent 45 minutes with you explaining what we do, why we do it, what we actually did that morning, our goals and philosophy and it is as if you didn't hear a word I said. One wonders why bother interviewing a pro-lifer when you just print whatever you want about us to fit your own pro-abortion worldview!
We "preach at", we "swarm", we "rush", we "invade", we "scare", we are "aggressive", we "harass", we "bombard", we "disrupt", we "traumatize", we exhibit "hostile", "dangerous", behavior, we "yell" - I think Melissa you can see how your writing is biased, slanted and anything but fair. As I said, pro-abortion reporters have their set script, and they simply default to the ideology and the articles about pro-lifers come out looking like this!
I hope you will take my critique to heart. When all is said and done, your article is a piece of journalistic junk-- pro-abortion ideology dressed up as reporting. If you do another article about pro-lifers, I hope it won't look like this one!
I hope you will take my critique to heart. When all is said and done, your article is a piece of journalistic junk-- pro-abortion ideology dressed up as reporting. If you do another article about pro-lifers, I hope it won't look like this one!
PS The sad part of it is this-- You simply have no idea the way we really do help women-- I mean, poor, needy desperate women Today, I delivered a $7,000 dollar mint condition van to a mother I talked to (or should I say harassed?) out of an abortion April 8th, when I was at a clinic in Detroit! This represents not even 1 percent of what we do! The women we help are grateful. We love them, and they love us and we forge real lasting bonds with these women who, because we are there for them just before they are about to go into a clinic, go on to give birth to children they cherish-- that's the way it really is! That's an article worthy of your talents.
The Anti-Abortion Movement Is
Capitalizing On Coronavirus
In defiance of stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, protesters continue to harass patients at abortion clinics.
On an average day, even during the pandemic, a handful of anti-abortion protesters line up on the sidewalk outside the Heritage Clinic for Women in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and preach at the women who enter. Their faces are familiar to clinic staff, as are their regular schedules.
But last Wednesday, when the clinic opened in the morning, the staff were startled to find 25 to 30 protesters assembling, many of them holding single red roses. Ignoring the no-trespassing signs, they began swarming the clinic’s parking lot, rushing patients as they got out of their cars. All wrong. ONLY 6 of us ever entered the parking lot! Your statement here says up to 30! Hardly! And we didn't swarm and we didn't rush-- unless you consider walking briskly as rushing! Why do you depict us that way? The other pro-lifers remained on the public sidewalk!
Some wore masks to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, but many did not. All six of us wore PPE--unlike the abortionist who came out of the clinic to tell us he was calling the police. Gordon also made a gesture with his hands as if he was holding a gun and said to Red Rose Rescuer Ann Norton: "I'm going to shoot you!"
Kelly, the clinic administrator who asked to be identified only by her first name, called the police. She immediately recognized the protest as a “red rose rescue,” an aggressive tactic where anti-abortion activists physically enter clinic waiting rooms and refuse to leave. OK, but in this case we did not enter the clinic-- you should emphasize that! And as I explained in my interview, wanting to honor social distancing we kept out RRR outdoors.
In normal times, clinic invasions can be disruptive and traumatizing for patients and staff. But during an infectious disease outbreak, this type of scary stunt potentially endangers everyone’s health. Scary stunt! Is trying to save someone from being dismembered and treated like trash a "stunt”? And those are your words--not a quote from anyone. So much for your fairness.
“Our patients were shaken up, scared,” Kelly said. “We haven’t had anything that invasive since the 1980s.” The protesters did not make it inside the facility, she said, but at least one person attempted to enter through the locked security door at the top of a stairwell. Absolutely NO ONE ever attempted to enter the clinic!
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, emboldened pro-life groups have used the public health crisis to try to disrupt access to abortion. Our RRR has nothing to do with using the pandemic-- how are we using it? I certainly never said that! Nor is it true!
As governors across the country issued emergency orders to halt the spread of the virus, anti-abortion activists pressured officials to close abortion clinics under the guise of preserving personal protective equipment, a strategy that was temporarily successful in some states. Many are also defying stay-at-home orders to demonstrate outside clinics, leading to arrests in multiple states. “Would be a shame if I was sick,” one protester in North Carolina reportedly said while coughing in the face of an elderly clinic volunteer. What does this incident have to do with us-- it is gratuitous to include it.
Monica Miller, a Michigan-based veteran anti-abortion activist who created the “red rose rescue” movement in 2017, defended the choice to continue protests during the outbreak in an interview with HuffPost.
“We’re rather frustrated, generally speaking in the pro-life movement, that abortion is being treated as an essential medical procedure,” she said. “When the abortion clinics are remaining open, why should we be calling off our defense?”
In the past month, her group has embarked on four protests at clinics in Washington, D.C., Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Michigan.
“I just don’t think that love and charity and compassion have boundaries,” Miller said. “The boundaries are drawn by the people that are killing the unborn. I don’t think we have any moral ― and I might even be able to argue, legal ― obligation to respect those boundaries.”
While abortion clinics have experienced an increase in harassment since 2015, the pandemic has ushered in increasingly hostile, aggressive and dangerous behavior, according to the Very Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation.
“Surrounding and screaming at patients and making it difficult for them to get into the clinic takes on new weight when we’re trying to social distance,” she said. “It threatens patients and staff lives.” You should have asked me what I thought of being characterized this way so I could refute this description of us. Your article constancy allows those who are involved with abortion, i.e. the clinic director and Ragsdale etc. to paint us negatively, and no one from our side is allowed to make any response. They get to say what they want about us--and there's no voice to balance these biased descriptions. And all we did was walk along with the moms and their boyfriends, outdoors!
The ultimate goal of such protests is to scare patients out of obtaining the procedure that day, she added. Potentially exposing them to a contagious virus is a very effective way to get women to vacate the premises. Again-- where is my voice to say Ragsdale couldn't be father from the truth. WE HELP WOMEN-- and they are NOT scared of us. We talk to them quietly, lovingly, offering them all the help under the sun so they know there is a loving hand extended to help them.
Clinics are currently taking extreme measures to reduce virus transmission, she said, including screening patients for symptoms before they enter the facility, limiting the number of people inside at any time and having patients fill out paperwork in their cars so they are not waiting indoors. Protesters have been surrounding cars and yelling at patients while they are stuck inside their vehicles, she said. We never yelled at anyone. We had real conversations with people whom we hoped to help.
“While they’re using the same tactics as before, they carry heightened effects right now as we’re already living in such anxiety,” she said.
Anti-abortion groups have been energized by the Trump presidency and are increasingly confident that they will be able to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that effectively legalized abortion nationwide. Currently, the high court is considering a Louisiana case that could have broad implications for abortion’s accessibility across the country.
At the protest in Grand Rapids, Michigan, anti-abortion activists bombarded patients as they got out of their cars, and tried to talk them out of getting the procedure, according to Kelly, the clinic administrator. And I again was never given a chance to refute this characterization of us by the woman who runs the abortion clinic.
“They were very aggressive, in the patients’ faces,” she said.
Two protesters were arrested and three others, including Miller, were cited for trespassing. Miller denied that her group tried to enter the facility, and said they wore masks and practiced social distancing.
Kelly disputed her account.
“The majority of them were unmasked and they were all grouped very close together,” she said. “Their entire goal was to make it so that we were so distracted and disrupted that we stopped services. Luckily, that did not happen.” So, the clinic director is permitted to refute what I said we did-- but Melissa, notice I am never permitted to refute her. You had to have gone back to her after you talked to me! But you never told me what she said, so that I could make a response to her! All Red Rose Rescuers used PPE!
And that the clinic supposedly went on to conduct its “services”? “Luckily” for who? Certainly not the mothers, and certainly NOT the unborn torn to pieces.

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