Kirsten Andersen


After pro-life outcry, YMCA disinvites Planned Parenthood from ‘Girl’s Day’ conference

Kirsten Andersen

WACO, TX, April 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – When the Waco YMCA announced that Planned Parenthood was going to be a featured presenter at “Girl’s Day 2013,” an educational program for girls ages 9 and up, pro-life activists were appalled. 

Waco Planned Parenthood’s education director, Katie Wolfe, was sceduled to speak to the young girls from Planned Parenthood’s perspective about ‘building healthy relationships.’  She was also going to talk to their parents. 

Residents of the Texas town had little time to voice their opposition.  The event was to take place on April 6, and it was already the 4th

But in today’s world of technology and instant communication, pro-life activist John Pisciotta was hopeful 36 hours would be enough. 

At midday on April 4, Pisciotta, Director of Pro-Life Waco, sent an e-mail to his supporters begging them to participate in a last-minute “shock and awe” campaign by flooding the 16 employees of the Waco YMCA with e-mails urging them to drop Wolfe as a speaker.

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In addition to the electronic deluge, pro-life members called the YMCA office to complain. One cancelled her YMCA membership in protest. 

It only took a little over 24 hours for the YMCA to get the picture.  By 2:45 p.m. on April 5, pro-lifers who wrote received this e-mail response:

“We thank you for your concerns. As of Thursday afternoon, Planned Parenthood will not be attending the YMCA of Central Texas' Girls Day at Doris Miller Family Y. As an organization that serves the Central Texas community, it is our upmost [sic] priority to adhere to our mission of putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We look forward to the impact that Girls Day will have on the young women of this community. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact either myself or CEO/President Patrick Murphy at [email protected]

The e-mail was signed by Christopher Bernard, the Associate Executive Director of YMCA of Central Texas.

Pisciotta said the quickly-mobilized effort was just the latest in a string of campaigns against local groups with connections to Planned Parenthood.  In 2004, Pro-Life Waco led a boycott of Girl Scout cookie sales because of the local council’s ties to the abortion giant. In 2010, the group picketed in front of Central National Bank because the bank publicly endorsed Planned Parenthood’s youth programs. That campaign was successful, prompting the bank to revoke its support for Planned Parenthood.

In an e-mail to supporters, Pisciotta said, “Pro-Life Waco is grateful for support in shielding Waco's precious girls from the dangerous deceptions of Planned Parenthood.  This victory helps lower the public image of Planned Parenthood Waco toward the depths they so richly deserve. This shows what we can accomplish when we work together.”

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