Monday, May 4, 2009

Bishop Finn, Archbishop Naumann to Pray Rosary at Controversial Planned Parenthood Clinic

For the third year in a row, Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Kansas City - St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn will lead a Rosary outside the controversial Planned Parenthood abortuary in Overland Park, Kansas.

The clinic has been in the news for a long while because it is one of two, including George Tiller's, that has been under investigation for violation of Kansas' abortion laws. On that front there has been little traction because of the protection the clinics have received from former Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

Last Friday though, the Kansas House voted 71-47 to cease funding Planned Parenthood in Kansas largely in response to a tape released earlier by two Kansas legislators. As LifeNews reported:
In a recorded telephone conversation between a girl posing as a 14-year-old and a Planned Parenthood employee at its Overland Park, Kansas facility, the employee is informed that the young girl believes she may be pregnant by her 23-year-old boyfriend.

Planned Parenthood invites the young girl to the clinic for a pregnancy test and informs the potential statutory rape victim that her sexual abuser can come to the clinic to pick up the contraceptives.

The lawmakers tell that, at no point during the recorded conversation, does the employee raise any concerns about sexual abuse, despite the fact that the situation described constitutes Aggravated Indecent Liberties under Kansas law.

“This shocking conversation is consistent with a nationwide Planned Parenthood pattern of covering up sexual abuse of young girls,” said Huelskamp, also a candidate for Congress.

“And as a father of two young girls ages 13 and 12, I am appalled that Planned Parenthood shows absolute contempt for our laws protecting children from sexual abuse. I don't think it is too much to ask for any entity that receives taxpayer funding to follow our laws, especially those protecting young girls from sexual abusers," he said.

The Kansas House action moved to re-prioritize the state's distribution of Title X funds away from planned parenthood. As Kansas Representative Lance Kinzer explained:
In Kansas Title X $ is administered by KDHE which distributes these funds in the form of grants. In general these grants go to local health departments, but in some instances private entities receive the grants. For example in FY 2008 KDHE provided $263,075 of this federal pass-through money to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

My amendment would say that first priority for these funds would be to public entities such as county health departments, with all remaining funds going to hospitals as defined by K.S.A. 65-425 and “federally qualified health centers” as defined under K.S.A. 65-16699. Federally qualified health centers are more commonly known as “safety net clinics” and pursuant to federal law can include community health centers, public housing centers, outpatient health programs funded by the Indian Health Service, and programs serving migrants and the homeless. Pursuant to federal law the main purpose of federally qualified health centers, is to “enhance the provision of primary care services in underserved urban and rural communities.”

A similar proviso is expected to be considered in the Kansas Senate today, according to Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director for Kansans for Life.

All who are interested in quiet prayerful witness for life are invited to join Bishop Finn and Archbishop Naumann outside the Planned Parenthood clinic at 4401 W 109th Street, Overland Park, KS at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. Below is some coverage of last year's event:
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn joined more than 300 Catholics from both sides of State Line Road in quiet prayerful witness outside the Planned Parenthood abortuary in Johnson County May 10.

The event was the second annual Mother's Day Rosary witness organized by Lifefront co-founded last year by young adult Missourian Jennifer Gordon and Kansan Justin Nelson.

Participants prayed all 20 decades of the Rosary with Bishop Finn providing and opening prayer and welcome and Archbishop Naumann offering petitions between sets of mysteries. Those praying included seniors, young families, young adults, clerics and religious.

The turnout was more than twice that of last year's Rosary. The purpose of the large annual event is partially recruitment according to Gordon. "We want to raise awareness of the need to be out there," she said. "It's important for people not to go alone the first time. We hope through this experience people will be moved by the Holy Spirit to make a commitment to coming out on a regular basis."

But the event has significance in itself Gordon said, "It's a powerful witness to have 300 people praying the rosary," the grace of which she is sure changes hearts.

Gordon's goal is to recruit enough people to make a prayerful witness during each hour the facility is open for abortions. As a result of last year's event, "a small but dedicated group has been coming out regularly who haven't been there before." This includes monthly participation from groups organized from Nativity Parish in Leawood, as well as the Kansas City, Kansas Latin Mass community.

Several years ago, the facility stopped performing abortions on Saturdays for a period of two years due to the persistent prayerful presence of a group of pro-lifers on Saturday. More recently, the facility closed down one weekend in April and two in May. "I hope it has something to do with us being out there," Gordon said.

About 50 people signed registration cards this year requesting information on how to be involved in witness throughout the year.

Last year, eight women signed up to be trained as sidewalk counselors. They cover shifts from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. every Saturday. More counselors are needed to cover an additional Saturday shift Gordon said.

Lifefront co-founder Justin Nelson has since moved to Belize serving on mission there for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). Belize has recently legalized abortion and Nelson was moved to start up a Lifefront group there.