by Reagan Scott
LINCOLN (SNR) - When driving by Planned Parenthood during the week, Lincoln residents might notice men and women praying on the sidewalk in front of the building.
These men and women, sometimes referred to as “prayer warriors,” are praying for an end to abortion, as well as help and healing for mothers who may be considering an abortion, or even mothers who have had abortions.
Anyone is welcome to stand outside Planned Parenthood to pray at any time during the week, but prayers are especially needed on Tuesdays, when abortions are performed. On these days seminarians from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter or school groups might come out to pray on the sidewalk in front of the building along with other individuals from Lincoln and the surrounding area.
“We invite anyone to pray [at Planned Parenthood] at any time,” said Matt Tapling, the president of Lincoln Right to Life.
Individuals are welcome to stop by to pray any day of the week, whether it be for a few minutes or even an hour.
Every Tuesday, trained counselors will stand outside the building along with those offering prayers. These counselors, trained with the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants model developed by Msgr. Philip Reilly, are there to reach out to women who may be in need of help or support.
For those who go to Planned Parenthood to pray, the experience can be an eye-opening one.
“When a person goes to Planned Parenthood to pray and sees abortion-minded women walk in with a sense of despair and a lack of hope, it turns abortion from a political talking point to a personal understanding of how it impacts women,” Tapling said. “One thing that becomes obvious is what Planned Parenthood truly does versus what they say they do.”
When Lincoln’s Planned Parenthood was located at 3705 South Street, Lincoln Right to Life bought the building next door. When Planned Parenthood moved to its current location on 48th Street over three years ago, Lincoln Right to Life sold the building on South Street, but has been unable to rent a new one.
“Nobody wanted to rent to us,” Pam McCabe, a member of Lincoln Right to Life for 25 years, said. “Not even a closet space.”
To solve this problem, McCabe knew that she would have to come up with a different solution. One day, God gave her the idea for an RV.
In May, McCabe saw an RV for sale in front of someone’s house and was able to acquire it from Doug Vanderbroek, a pro-life evangelical Christian. The RV is now being used by Lincoln Right to Life.
“We only wanted to get the RV from somebody who was pro-life,” McCabe said.
The RV was wrapped by Revolution Wraps and was finished in September. It was also blessed by Bishop James Conley at the Chancery.
The RV was first taken to Planned Parenthood Oct. 11, the same day that abortionist Deborah Turner first began performing abortions in Lincoln. The previous abortionist left to perform abortions elsewhere in America.
The RV is usually parked either behind the Sonic close to Planned Parenthood, or at Cornerstone Christian Church across the street.
“We’re looking for something with more visibility,” McCabe said.
Now that Lincoln Right to Life has access to an RV, there is a place for the sidewalk counselors to go, as well as somewhere for them to take mothers, fathers or anyone who wants to talk to them.
The inside of the RV has heat for the cold winter months, a TV to show pro-life DVDs, as well as 1,300 diapers to give to mothers who may need them.
The sides of the RV have a phone number that is connected to a national hotline that is monitored 24/7 so that people can have their questions answered day or night according to Tapling.
“It is the goal of Lincoln Right to Life to stick with moms for however long they need us, despite the outcome of their pregnancy,” McCabe said. This includes mothers who have not yet had their babies, mothers who have, and mothers who have had abortions.
Lincoln Right to Life has a Mothers Assistance Fund in order to help mothers pay for rent, utilities, clothes or food for their families. In the future, McCabe would like to be able to provide other supplies to mothers from the RV, such as blankets.
“We have helped many, many mothers,” McCabe said.
Now that McCabe has found an RV, she is planning to make sure that it is seen by as many people as possible.
“We’re hoping to have [the RV] in county parades, county fairs and even the state fair next year,” McCabe said.
“Anywhere there are a lot of people.”
With the RV, Lincoln Right to Life has even more resources to offer to mothers both before their babies are born, and after. However, both McCabe and Tapling stressed the importance of prayers as well.
“This is a spiritual battle and spiritual battles are won through prayer. We’re changing hearts not winning arguments,” Tapling said.
McCabe also recognizes the important role that prayer played in the efforts to attain the RV.
McCabe said, “The power of prayer got us that RV and saves the lives of babies we will never know about.”