Planned Parenthood ‘Mega-Center’ Opening Next To DC Charter School Ignites Prayer Protests

(Steve Birr/TheDCNF)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Steve Birr Vice Reporter
Font Size:

The soft opening of a new Planned Parenthood clinic next to a Washington, D.C., public charter school drew pro-life demonstrators Friday, who organized a 12-hour, prayer-based protest of the new facility.

The Planned Parenthood clinic, which protesters referred to as a “mega-center,” will sit next to the Two Rivers Public Charter School. It houses an elementary school and a middle school. Despite concerns from parents, officials at Two Rivers support the facility and will allegedly partner with them for the school’s sex education curriculum. Organizers with the Anti-Choice Project stood outside the building’s entrance Friday holding signs and praying.

Protesters will gather again Sunday at 2 p.m. for one last demonstration before the grand opening Monday.

“I’m here just to pray for the people that will be going in, for them, so they might be able to change their minds and turn around and choose life for their child,” Father Charles Hurkes, a local pastor, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Also to pray for the workers. One of the great things in the last two or three years, have been the number of those involved in the abortion business who have left.”

Activists said they wanted to emphasize that there are a wide array of pro-choice organizations that exist to help current workers at Planned Parenthood facilities. An organization called And Then There Were None is a group of former abortion clinic workers who have banded together and are giving aid to those who want to get out of the business. The organization says it helps former employees find jobs elsewhere.

Protester sign. (Steve Birr/TheDCNF)

Protester sign. (Steve Birr/TheDCNF)

When local pro-lifers learned about the plans to construct the facility last September, they attempted to appeal to school officials to halt the project but were unsuccessful.

“Officials with the Two Twins Elementary and Middle school are partnering with Planned Parenthood to seek an injunction, meaning if it’s passed we won’t be allowed within a certain vicinity of the facility,” Lauren Handy, field director of the Anti-Choice Project, told TheDCNF. “Its a common ploy that the abortion industry uses to make sure pro-lifers aren’t in front of their facilities. So we’re being sued, but we are confident that the case will be thrown out.”

Protesters said they want to spread the message that there are other options and alternatives to the services provided at Planned Parenthood

“I’m out here as a last push for awareness outreach to workers and women seeking abortion,” Handy said. “A lot of people find themselves with a job here without knowing the full ramification of working for Planned Parenthood, and we love the patients before and after regardless of their decision, so we have resources for them whether or not they end up going through with it.”

Pro-life sign. (Steve Birr/TheDCNF)

Pro-life sign. (Steve Birr/TheDCNF)

Organizers said they will continue to protest the facility after its grand opening. It is unclear when the facility will begin offering abortion services, however the protesters are planning for another round of demonstrations once they begin. The Anti-Choice Project hopes to show women entering the facility that they can choose a different path.

“Yesterday we were at the Silver Spring Planned Parenthood and a woman who is 15 weeks pregnant with twins, she chose life for her babies and we were able to help her,” Handy told TheDCNF. “It’s the little things like that that help you get through 12 hour vigils like this.”

Follow Steve on Twitter

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact