Monday, September 15, 2014

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Pro-life supporters gather peaceably outside Planned Parenthood

090112-planned-parenthood-protestCHARLOTTE — In a decidedly more peaceful pre-Democratic National Convention prayer vigil than last night's event held in front of Time Warner Cable Arena, members of America Defend Life, local Christian churches and students from Belmont Abbey College gathered in front of Planned Parenthood on Albemarle Road on Sept. 1 to pray for the 3,300 victims of abortion every day in the United States.

Anthony Perlas, a student at Belmont Abbey College and president of the Latin Mass Society, was invited to lead the pro-life witnesses in praying the joyful mysteries of the rosary in Latin at the outset of the vigil. He was joined by several members of the society who had made the 40-mile roundtrip drive from campus to the vigil.

"There were a few cars that passed by and cursed." Perlas said. "A lot of them honked for the support. After the rosary, a member from a different Protestant organization said words of worship that glorified the Lord."

Brice Griffin, spokesperson for the Charlotte-based America Defend Life, shared that more people joined them for the vigil in front of Planned Parenthood than the event in uptown Charlotte the night before. She brought the red carnations from the prior evening's vigil and again they were laid out to represent the 3,300 lives killed through abortion each day in this country.

Griffin thought they would have to remove the flowers at the end of the prayer vigil, but had a pleasant surprise when she approached the security guard to inquire about leaving them in place.

"I approached the security guard and he asked what my sign said," Griffin recounted. "I showed it to him and he read it aloud, 'I REGRET MY ABORTION.' He said, 'You had one?' So I told him yes, and he told me that he and his wife scheduled an abortion and she got as far as the operating table when she changed her mind!

"They named their daughter after the only Christian in their lives, and her middle name is Grace, since it is with God's grace that she is alive today. He went on to tell me that he was adopted. His mother conceived when she was only 15.

"He told me that he doesn't agree with abortion but kind of shrugged, implying that a job is a job..."

Griffin was told the carnations could be left in place because they were not considered trash.

She was deeply moved by the conversation with the security guard.

"What on earth guided me to speak to this man, carrying that sign, instead of any of the other pro-lifers? God is so good, so good! I am so thankful for the experiences we have had thus far and I'm looking forward to watching Him work throughout the convention."

The next pro-life event will be the Civil Rights for Life March and Rally in Charlotte on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from noon to 2 p.m.

For details about any of these events, go online to

— SueAnn Howell, staff writer. Photos by Anthony Perlas,

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Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte: