Anti-Abortion Groups Gather to Celebrate Closing of Planned Parenthood In Sherman

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TheJesusFreak.JPG
Photos by Anna Merlan
The self-proclaimed Jesus Freak at yesterday's rally up in Sherman
Ramona Trevino wiped her eyes as she stood at the microphone. She looked out at her audience, a crowd of 50 or so sweating on a narrow patch of grass up in Sherman. "For three years, I managed this Planned Parenthood," she said. "There was a tugging in my heart, which it shames to me to say I ignored. This spring, you can just say everything changed."

The people on the grass were gathered outside the former site of Sherman's only Planned Parenthood, a tiny facility that was only open three days a week and didn't perform abortions. It closed August 24 for lack of business, something that this area's pro-life contingent was ready to count as a major victory.

On a crushingly hot Sunday, they came to the public right-of-way directly outside the vacant building to celebrate: Hymns pumped from a tiny portable speaker, prayers were said, women wept, cake was served. A volunteer holding a sign that read "Jesus Loves You" waved at passing cars. A few times they waved back.

An elderly man with a long white beard arrived at the rally in a truck festooned with statuary of saints, pro-life bumper stickers, and a wooden sign that read "God Bless Texas." He beckoned me over to show me the cab, which was festooned with more images of saints and pictures of him with various pro-life luminaries. Asked for his name, he shook his head. "Names don't matter," he said. "Only Jesus matters. They just call me the Jesus Freak."

Ramona Trevino.JPG
Ramona Trevino
Although the Sherman Planned Parenthood may not have offered abortions, "they provided abortion referral," Karen Garnett told me. She's the executive director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee (CPLC). "Every Planned Parenthood refers women for surgical abortions."

They also, of course, provided Well Woman exams and pap smears; women in Sherman who previously used Planned Parenthood are being referred to its next closest location, 40 minutes south in McKinney. A report by the Sherman Herald Democrat in 2009 found that uninsured women seeking preventative health care only had four options: the Greater Texoma Health Clinic, the Health Department, the Texoma Health Foundation and Planned Parenthood.

Garnett didn't seem concerned that the Sherman clinic's closing might limit access to health care. "They might have to drive a little further," she said. "But it's still available." Gerry Brundage, President of the Texoma Pro-Life Association, later dismissed, "all that, 'Oh, where are women gonna go? Women are gonna die,' stuff," as "just rhetoric."

The event was also meant to celebrate that Ramona Trevino had, during her time managing the Sherman Planned Parenthood location, changed her political direction and became wholeheartedly anti-abortion. Many of the attendees were affiliated with 40 Days For Life, a national campaign that is, as their website states, "a community-based campaign that draws attention to the evil of abortion" through prayer, vigil, fasting, and community outreach. Their national director, David Bereit, showed up from Washington D.C., to attend the rally. He said that since the campaign began, "4,313 babies have been saved, and 53 workers have left the abortion industry. Ramona is No. 53."

Trevino is in her 30s, with short dark hair and a silver cross dangling from around her neck. She sat under a blue tent for most of the rally, being fanned with a paper by the woman next to her, looking serious and a little teary. She told a CPLC employee to relay to me that she "wasn't speaking to media today." Instead, she listened as a parade of speakers praised her bravery, occasionally dabbing at her eyes. She's been only intermittently employed since leaving the Sherman facility, most recently at a bank, Bereit told me.

The director of the local Pregnancy Care Center also spoke; like most crisis pregnancies centers, it's firmly anti-abortion and warns on its website of abortion's potential "spiritual consequences." The director, who gave her name as Melba, mentioned that during her time at Planned Parenthood, Trevino had started referring patients to the Pregnancy Care Center instead of her own workplace.

"I walked out of this job on Friday May 6," Trevino told the crowd, when it was her turn to speak. "And I never have looked back since. My message is to glorify God. I really want this day to be about the power of prayer... This place is out of business, and it's all because of God." She spoke only briefly, reading from note-cards, before going back to stand with her husband and teenage daughter. At that point, a tiny blond teenager appeared by my side with a leopard-spotted umbrella. "May I shelter you?" she asked, her braces flashing as she spoke. "You look really hot." She stood motionless for 20 minutes or so, the umbrella aloft. "God bless you," she said finally, before snapping the umbrella shut and going back to join her family.

David Bereit, 40 Days For Life's national director, said that the Texoma Pro-Life association has been praying for the Sherman facility to close for 7 years, ever since it first opened here. "They've been praying for this to happen for a long time," he said. "They feel this is an answer to their prayers."

"The battle's not over," Pastor Jeff Davis of Victory Life Church told the crowd. "We pray for their other locations to be closed, to be put out of business." 40 Days For Life will be campaigning in Dallas next. They're planning a 24/7 protest later this year outside Planned Parenthood's Greenville Avenue location, which they call a "late-term abortuary."

Gerry Brundage, president of the Texoma Pro-Life Association, had one more piece of good news, before the cake was cut and everyone beat a retreat from the punishing heat. "Ramona," he said solemnly, "is with child." Trevino erupted into a fresh wave of tears as she was engulfed by her supporters; people lined up to hug her, everyone wanting a little piece of what they saw as a miracle.
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82 comments
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Cesartello1967
Cesartello1967

I was working for Planned Parenthod in Los Angeles in the Hollywood center, I need to let people know that PPLA now only cares about numbers, they want cuantity not quality for their patients one time the person in charge told me that I was taking to much time with each patient that they were that day for abortions, Hollywood center do medical abortions one's a week every thursday, I't take me 20 min. with this patient because she was not shure what to do, is imposible to educate a patient in less than 1/2 an hour they need to let each patient that they have other options, also when patient decide to continue with the process some times they don't understand what the side efects of the medication will be so they call in to talk to a nurse those are consider emergency calls that the nurse on call fax over thise emergency calls stays in the fax machine some times for more thana week and nobody take care of them.I hope somebody do something about it because health services is not just about money!!!

Null
Null

Tell me, again why it's any of YOUR damn business what a woman does with HER body???

Sherry
Sherry

Dear Mike,

Although your comments received a lot of negative responses, your 'right on' according to Scripture.  God told Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet, unto the nations." May we all seek Truth regardless of our emotions, beliefs, environment, and culture.  God bless Gerry Brundage and the 40 Days Campaign.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

God didn't say this, someone who wrote this at an unknown point claimed that god said this, and then about a dozen people transcribed it and translated it into other languages before it reached the King James version of the Bible.  Just because it is among the set of books that a bunch of old men hundreds of years ago decided something should be in teh Bible doesn't mean it is God's word.  Lev. 25:44 states that God said that I may own slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.  However, around 1864 this country decided to ignore God's word and be an ungodly nation when it freed the slaves.

Phyllis Allen
Phyllis Allen

For six years, when I was a single mom I was a regular patron of my local Planned Parenthood Center.  They provided me with well woman checkups, birth control options (that did not include abortion) and counseling for medical conditions and problems.  It saddens me to think that someone would celebrate the narrowing of access to health care for women.  But then most everything about "these people" saddens me. 

Rod Wymer
Rod Wymer

So anti-abortion supporters had a tearful celebration of the closing of a facility that did not provide abortions. I don't think that a reduction of health care options in Sherman is anything to celebrate.

lorlee
lorlee

I expect that most of us are "pro-life" and "anti-abortion".  The real difference is whether we believe that people should have the right to make their own decisions or not.  So the real difference is "pro-choice" vs "anti-choice"   I am unwilling to let a bunch of folks who show no interest in actual living beings claim the mantle of pro-life. 

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

I'm anti-abortion; I'm pro-choice.  I agree with Bill Clinton that "abortions should be safe, legal and rare."  The biggest mistake that the pro-choice movement made was to let the opposition use the term "pro-life" unchallenged.  The simplest way to cut down on abortions is to make birth control safe, available and inexpensive.  Yet these same people who celebrate the closure of the Sherman Planned Parenthood are more comfortable with unwed girls having babies than they are with giving them responsible birth control counseling.

rumpunch
rumpunch

I kinda fall in the middle here.  I personally hate the idea of abortion, however I accept it as a social, medical and political reality.  I am smart of enough to realize that my sense of right and wrong are mine and mine alone.  However, I am also smart enough to realize that PP provides many other necessary services which these groups have put a stop to when one of these centers close down.

Where the pro-lifers miss the Bible's teachings, is by focusing on the wrong end of the supply and demand equation.  They feel that without PP, there would be no demand for abortions.  Simple statistics, 100% of children who never concieved are never aborted.  As a Christian, I feel that it our responsibility to educate our youth in not getting pregnant.  Many Christians have accepted that this means that abstinence is not the only answer.  If these pro-lifers spend even half of the time preaching about not getting pregnant by methods other than abstinence, the demand for abortions would drop.  Accept reality and you will get most of the things you really believe in .

tsmat
tsmat

My teenage niece got her low cost birth control pills from that clinic. This makes me very sad.

SWells
SWells

Sorry, birth control pills are not a right. Why don't you try paying for them rather than getting others to?

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

thats some stupid shit you said right there.  So her niece who probably doesnt have a lot of money and wants birth control found a low cost alternative and you would rather her not be able to get it, but would only cane her more when she got pregnant.  Some people just are not human.

Oh and by the way, birth control pill are not free at planned parenthood, you pay for them dumbass

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

well when you are old and sick and out of money, I hope you dont get one red cent of mine either, rot and die you selfish fuck

SWells
SWells

Who said anything about caning? You are a nut. I simply would her rather not get it on my dime. Your dumbass should be donating your own money and volunteering your time rather than expecting tax dollars to support these offices. Especially ones that don't make economic sense. 

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Perhaps you should go to Afghanistan-you might fit right in with the Taliban

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Oh, and don't forget roads.  I'm sure SWells doesn't want to have to pay for roads for the poor to drive on, and certainly plans to pull over and stop driving when he has driven as much in a year as his taxes have paid for.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Well it may be a bit extreme but lets look at both parties:The Taliban are a group of ultra religious who are intolerant of others views much like those in the anti choice movement.  They wish to force their beliefs on others and justify their actions by saying that they are blessed by God –that they are doing God’s will.   That justifies for them to engage in extreme actions to further their point-even to the point of killing disbelievers to further their cause (in the anti choose movement we see the murder of doctors or bombing of clinics who provide pro choice services to women).  Indeed we have seen anti choice groups enact Fatwa’s against doctors and clinics. They are often those who lack education and are hostile to ideas that come from the scientific community. They wish to restrict the exposure of any views that would run contrary to their beliefs (yes that fits both camps too-note how conservatives in Texas effect the content of school text books to strengthen their points of view).    I could go on but…..It looks kind of similar to me. You did not provide the information on how many unwanted children YOU have adopted?    In other posts on this page I ask the same question with NO response.  Many who are anti choice are really not pro life but pro birth and once the child is born they turn their back on them and the mother.   So I reiterate – How many unwanted or problem children have YOU adopted?  If the answer is none then you do not have any right to force your views upon others.   There is only one couple who I am aware of who have adopted 6 children-they have walked the walk.

Reflecting on those with extreme religious views they, in general, seem to be intolerant of anybody who does not belong to their particular religious sect or differs in anyway from their own experiences and life choices.

Mavdog
Mavdog

SWells says "cheap birth control is simply not a right in this country and PP is supported by federal funds"

I'll agree with SWells that there is no constitutional right for a citizen to be provided "cheap birth control". The lack of any specific statement in our country's constitution entitling citizens to contraception does not however negate the fact that providing contraception to those who seek it, esp those who have limited resources to purchase it, is good public policy.

I challenge SWells to consistency in his position. Clearly SWells you are against the state providing inoculations to children, right? And you are against the Feds operating the CDC as well, right? And you are also against the existence of Parkland Hospital and the access it provides to indigent patients, correct? After all none of these are specific rights granted in the constitution, and we as taxpayers are footing the bill.

These services, just like the taxpayers monies provided to Planned Parenthood (less than 1/3 of PP budget btw), are good investments that pay many, many times in returns. The health services PP administers to it's clients, which is much more of PP activities than abortions, are able to identify health issues that if not addressed early end up costing both the individual and society much more than what the cost if treated later. The ability of a woman to avoid pregnancy to complete their education or to continue working and pay taxes more than pay back the small cost of providing "that cheap birth control".

Your position shows a lack of vision and a failure understanding the concept of cost/benefit, or perhaps it's merely a symptom of misogyny. You tell us.....

SWells
SWells

Such an ignorant statement. You have no idea what the Taliban is like. I spent a year there and not just the Taliban but the common Afghani people treat women and young girls as brood mares. On top of that they use young boys to satisfy their desires. Their attitude is "women are for breeding and boys are for fun." The kids there are so messed up it is haunting. I was saying that cheap birth control is simply not a right in this country and PP is supported by federal funds. Try as I might, I just couldn't find any mention of affordable birth control it in the Constitution in the section known as the Bill of the Rights. You are welcome to donate to PP and volunteer your time just don't ask me to be okay with my tax dollars going there. 

Pat Boyack
Pat Boyack

Planned Parenthood does a very small fraction of abortions. Most of its work is preventing STDs, giving free cancer screenings and helping new mothers. That's a fact, but facts don't matter to the ignorant.

SWells
SWells

Then why don't they just stop giving or referring abortions and then no one will have any issue with them? It seems like a common sense solution to me especially since PP receives government subsidies and abortion is such a divisive issue. Whether or not you agree with pro-life people they are sincere in their beliefs and it is certainly very tough to see ones tax dollars supporting something you are so strongly opposed to.  

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Against abortion? Don't have one.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

It seems to me that they (SWells for example) are obsessed with minding other peoples business in stead of focusing on their own. There are a lot of things that I as a tax payer have to pay for that I do not approve of. I feel however that religious institutions should pay taxes (income and property taxes) too; but, they don't want to. Why should I have to subsidize their religious institutions (and beliefs) because they feel that the almighty has exempted them for funding their fair share? After all some of the problems that we face they have had a direct input into making them so

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Somehow I fail to see, after reading your posts, that you are concerned about tax payer dollars.   It seems to me that you are hiding behind that as an excuse to further your religious beliefs upon those who do not share them. I am reminded of the quote“Hide witch Hide-the good folk come to burn thee, their keen enjoyment hid behind a gothic mask of duty.”  

SWells
SWells

Churches are simply operating as non-profits. If you want to tax all charitable organizations then that is your prerogative. I certainly disagree. PP receives government funds and that is much different than being tax exempt. I don't have a problem if they only wanted tax exempt status. If being concerned with where ones tax dollars go qualifies as "being obsessed with other peoples business than" then I guess I am.

Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh

"Then why don't they just stop giving or referring abortions and then no one will have any issue with them?"

Likewise, why don't doctors stop treating Medicare patients? That way we can eliminate it entirely and no one will have any issue with Medicare!

Nih
Nih

With child? Are we in 14th century Europe?

Steve
Steve

I'm for Pro-Am abortions.  Keep 'em guessing, right? 

Guest
Guest

These folks have so much love for the unborn child but once it pops out they give it a label and spend the rest of the time telling it how un-American it is.

Guest
Guest

How embarrassing. Texas living in the 18th century again.

Pecos_Drifter
Pecos_Drifter

They had In and Out Burgers in the 18th Century.......damn DISD edumaction......

SWells
SWells

You're welcome to leave if you are so embarrassed of Texas and it is just so miserable for you. A place closed because it was not getting enough visitors. It makes economic sense, stop freaking out. 

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

You know, you are right they closed for economice reasons, so why did all these protesters show up then?  Thats right trying to make the news and make it seem like they are the reason it closed.  So full of themselves.

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

The smallness of your mind speaks volumes.  I happen to read all types of mags and papers.  what does the your comment about the left leaning observer have to do with anything, are you insuating Im left, Im sure if you saw my comments on other websites Id be right.  Go ahead and jump to a conclusion about based on one website I happen to read.  Dumb fuck

SWells
SWells

Haha, and your beloved left leaning Observer covered 50 people gathering in Sherman why? That's right, they are making news out of something that really isn't.

Jesus
Jesus

Dear Mike,

   Please pay attention, you profess to know me so well, but you really don't know your ass from your elbow. Please quit throwing my name around like you're some sort of authority, and pretty please do us all a big favor and fuck off.

Thank you, that is all.

John2247
John2247

Abortion will never be completely outlawed in the US.  There will be restrictions, invasive laws, and other red meat for the "Pro-Life" crowd.

But conservatives at the top know that abortion is the #1 issue to energize their voters, and many conservative organizations know abortion is their #1 fundraiser.  Outlaw abortion completely and you eliminate the "urgency".   

Mike
Mike

I was there for the prayer vigils and the victory celebration.  The article for the most part is accurate, but seems to have a somewhat pro-choice tone.  There is also a few misleading statements and some missing information.  After reading the comments below about your, mine, our and their rights I found it strange the reason we were there was not even mentioned. It was to give a voice to those individuals that have no voice and are being murdered legally in this country everyday.  Life does start at conception and NO ONE has the right to take that life except the God that gave it.

I will not argue these points, but I will refer you to the Word of God contained in the Holy Bible.  If you want to debate this issue please take it up with God.  Also, please be aware that we not only pray for the unborn, but also for those that are already born and are lost.  It is His will that none should perish, so if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior please take some time to seriously consider your situation.  It is a wonderful thing to pursue righteousness in God, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  A life in Christ will be a "choice" you will never regret.

One day, every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess He is Lord.

Britt
Britt

The beginning of life is relative to each individual. Keep in mind that not everyone believes in the God that you do, therefore they're not going to subscribe to your ideologies.

My life, my body, my choice.

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

so life starts at conception, but what If I dont know I conceived bc I take a rusty coat hanger to myself or pop a pill.  And the church idots piss me off too.  You dont want abortions but some of you dont believe in birth control, but I mean really, who has sex only to have a kid these days.  What is a confused person supposed to do.

John_McKee
John_McKee

I'll get my advice from someone that doesn't believe in slavery but thanks.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

So mike how may unwanted children (and the two people who like your comments) have you addopted?    How many?

Guest
Guest

See, this is the sort of guy that keeps me awake at night. Scary as all heck.

Guest
Guest

Since when did Unfair Park start reporting news stories from Sherman?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Ah, yes. The world ends north of 635. Or Northwest Highway if you're really being elitist.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I don't really think it's about geography. Seems more in line with the Observer's recent trend towards putting up anything that will inflame their liberal readership and their conservative detractors into filling up the comment section over something that is largely a non-event. If you need more examples, stay tuned for their twice-weekly Rick Perry stories that have nothing to do with Dallas.

Coleman
Coleman

You're right! the dipshit governor of Texas running for president of the United States of America has nothing to do with Dallas. oh wait.

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