The Battle of Fitchburg: Federal Stimulus Money Subsidizes Planned Parenthood
posted at 3:33 pm on January 29, 2010 by The Other McCain
When administration officials are bragging about all those jobs “saved or created” by Obama’s stimulus program, they probably won’t mention the $387,000 grant to Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts, but residents of Fitchburg, Mass., don’t like what it means for their community:
A crowd of about 70 to 80 anti-abortion protesters waved signs and prayed Thursday on both sides of 391 Main St., where the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts plans to open an office this spring. . . .
Christine Hanley, who organized the protest as the chairwoman of the Fitchburg-Leominster Chapter of Mass Citizens for life, had hoped for a minimum of 20 protesters, so she was pleased to find the crowd exceeded her expectations.
“More people are coming all the time,” Hanley said during the protest on a snowy afternoon.
Father Robert Bruso, of St. Anthony de Padua Church in Fitchburg, participated in the protest.
“It’s really nothing the city of Fitchburg stands for,” said Bruso.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading abortion provider, but claims its Fitchburg clinic has nothing to do with that business:
Jesse Mermell, vice president of external relations at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, said because the organization plans to open the Fitchburg office with federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, employees cannot arrange appointments for abortions for patients at other offices. They also won’t perform abortions at the Fitchburg office.
Father Bruso isn’t buying that claim:
“They don’t make money by giving out literature. They make money by performing abortions,” Bruso said.
Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek says the Battle of Fitchburg is an example of “the Obama administration subsidizing its pro-abort pals with our money” and gives credit to local conservative blogger Da Tech Guy for calling attention to the issue. He was the first blogger to cover the story, he posted photos of yesterday’s protest, and he interviewed many of those involved, including Father Bruso:
“President Obama’s book is called The Audacity of Hope. Abortion is the abandonment of hope. When a person chooses abortion they are saying they don’t have hope for the future, not for their child or for themselves.”
I met Father Bruso while covering the Massachusetts Senate campaign (and crashing on Da Tech Guy’s sofa in Fitchburg), and the irony is that one of the reasons Scott Brown became the “41st vote” against ObamaCare is because of Martha Coakley’s insistence that the bill should include funding for abortion.
Pollsters identified Fitchburg as a “bellwether” town in the Massachusetts campaign and, based on my interviews with Father Bruso’s parishioners the Sunday before Election Day, I predicted Coakley might be facing “the most brutal Catholic backlash since the Inquisition.”
Coakley lost the election, but thanks to stimulus money from federal taxpayers, her agenda is being implemented anyway. Now Fitchburg is once again a bellwether — and a battlefield.