Local abortion opponents join national protest against Planned Parenthood


DOVER — In reaction to undercover videos released this summer that show Planned Parenthood staffers in Texas discussing the sale of aborted baby organs, a national day of protest took place Saturday at Planned Parenthood offices and abortion facilities across the United States.

About 50 protesters, holding signs, gathered at the Planned Parenthood facility at 805 S. Governor’s Ave. in Dover Saturday morning.

None of the nationally released videos are connected to the Dover office.

Donna Latteri, Delaware Coordinator of Right to Life for Kent County, said it was one of the biggest turnouts this year for the organization.

At an earlier event, she said, 20 to 26 people participated.

“But we’ve been getting more activism,” Ms. Latteri said. “More people have been willing to get involved.”

Undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress allegedly show that Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, supposedly with the sanction of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, are involved in the harvesting of body parts of unborn children aborted in their facilities and profiting from their sale contrary to federal laws prohibiting such practices.

The videos show high-level Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the prices of fetal specimens.

Abortion opponents say the videos also raise ethical questions about the exploitation of unborn children for financial gain, and risks to women’s health if abortion procedures are altered solely to procure more profitable specimens.

Ruth Lytle-Barnaby, president of Planned Parenthood of Delaware, said earlier this week the claims are false.

“There is zero evidence to support the claim,” Ms. Lytle-Barnaby said. “Even the (Delaware) Division of Public Health said there is nothing to investigate.”

There are no active investigations at this time.

The Delaware Division of Public Health has the authority to investigate facilities that perform invasive medical procedures, including providers of abortion, if there is an employee or patient complaint, or an adverse event.

As a consequence of public reaction to the videos, several states have initiated investigations of Planned Parenthood and legislation has been introduced in Congress to defund the controversial health-care organization.

Planned Parenthood currently receives more than $500 million in taxpayer — federal, state and sometimes local — funding annually, according to its annual report and information it is required to share with the IRS.

Dover resident and protester Bobbie Larson said they want a true investigation.

“We’re against abortion,” Ms. Larson said. “But we’re trying to get Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, as most of their business is abortion.

“With the videos that was released they’re breaking a law,” she said, “Selling the body parts and now we feel like we have a platform to say that need to be investigated.”

Planned Parenthood of Delaware, like all abortion providers, is regulated by the Division of Public Health.

Although Planned Parenthood of Delaware does not have a tissue donation program, tissue donation is regulated by the state.

“We follow all of the laws of the state,” Ms. Lytle-Barnaby said.

When cars drove by Saturday morning, drivers either honked their horns in favor of the protesters or yelled at them to go home.

“We’ve been getting a lot of positive responses,” Ms. Latteri said. “It’s becoming more of the norm, as the word gets out about abortion, we’ve been getting a lot more responses.”

She wasn’t unaware of the less than positive reaction, either.

“For the people that view us negatively, we just pray for them.”

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