Published Date Written by David CarkhuffTwo sides of the abortion debate seem committed to maintaining a presence outside the office of Planned Parenthood in Portland.
Mike Fink, pawnbroker, notary public and owner of Mike’s, 437 Congress St., and Guitar Grave, 441 Congress St., Portland, has spearheaded a counterprotest to pro-life supporters who picket outside the nearby Planned Parenthood clinic.
“The first Friday Protest against the Protesters went great,” Fink reported. “Excellent turnout, close to 100 sandwiches and between 16-20 carafes of coffee given away. It was a peaceful demonstration with excellent reception. There was some speculation that people were only there for the food and at one point the people there to support Planned Parenthood chanted ‘We’re not here for sandwiches... We’re not here for sandwiches...!’ Like we said ... humor is key to communicating an effective message. ... We will be organizing another protest for Friday, Feb. 1.”
“Pro-Life Missionaries of Maine can confirm that we will continue unabated outside the killing center known as Planned Parenthood,” stated Leslie Sneddon, with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform-New England. “We continue to see more and more people willing to come out and take a stand for life.”
Sneddon, who is based in Richmond, stirred controversy with a mobile anti-abortion exhibit last year at University of Southern Maine.
She clarified in an email to The Portland Daily Sun that the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform is only one part of Pro-Life Missionaries of Maine.
“We come together in unity to witness to mothers/fathers who are abortion-minded and/or determined to end the life of their child,” she wrote.
“We are in the 40th year of Roe vs Wade and our goal is to make abortion unthinkable and to see the law give full protection to the unborn. We will work towards making Maine an abortion free state,” Sneddon wrote. “We believe the most effective way to change public policy is to first change public opinion. In order to accomplish this task we will continue to employ the use of graphic pictures. Images of what abortion does to the unborn speak for themselves. We understand that seeing images of what abortion looks like is extremely distressing but feeling distressed about it is an appropriate response. What we don’t understand is the anger vented toward us who show what abortion looks like but not vented towards those who are performing abortions.”
But Fink wrote that the center protests were “only distorting and hurting the pro-life movement.”
And in an interview with the Bangor Daily News, Fink said he supports the protesters’ right to assemble but also backs the creation of a city ordinance providing a 35-foot buffer zone around the building where the clinic is located.
Sneddon said the pro-life demonstrators would not be deterred.
“Even if a buffer zone is put in place we still will stand outside the zone and display large aborted baby photos with a toll free help phone number for abortion-minded/determined mothers,” she wrote.
“The City council will realize the futility of their campaign to hide the horror of abortion,” Sneddon wrote.