Maggie DeWitte’s speech at Life Wins

Life Wins

[This is Maggie DeWitte’s Life Wins speech delivered on Saturday, April 27th]:

When I first got the news that the Planned Parenthood on Army Post Road was closing, I couldn’t believe it.  It was sort of the same immediate reaction I had when seeing the ruling on the US Supreme Court decision on my computer screen that Roe v. Wade had been overturned.  And when it sunk in, it was pure bliss.  Peace and joy.

Being in the pro-life movement is not for the faint of heart.  You have to have a lot of grit and determination to keep going in this fight.  And when successes seem few and far between, we hold on tight and ride them for as long as we can.  And that is what we are doing here today.  It is absolutely right and fitting that we celebrate the largest PP abortion mill in Iowa shuttering its doors.

This clinic opened at this location in 2004.  For twenty years, it has been a source of death and destruction.  The sobering reality is that over the last 20 years, 19,170 of our preborn brothers and sisters have lost their lives in that facility.  Let that number sink in a minute.  It’s hard to wrap our minds around that number; it’s bigger than the population of most Iowa towns.  Wiped off the map.  And the damage of each mother who made that decision.  

So goodbye to you forever place of death. I know many of you have joined me over the years on that sidewalk in blistering heat and freezing cold.  We will not miss that one bit!

And so, as that chapter ends, a new one begins.  Just like the overturning of Roe did not mean abortion was gone; the closing of this clinic does not mean the end of abortions in Des Moines.  

We have been blessed to have a reprieve since February when they closed for good.  But here is where our new battle starts.  When abortions stopped in Des Moines, they shifted to the PP clinic in Ames.  I have spent a lot of time on the sidewalk up there and I will tell you that parking lot is full every time; being on ISU campus they are bringing young girls in like droves.  

Additionally, PP plans to consolidate their two referral locations in Urbandale and Drake into one location just down the street from its current site on Drake campus.  Abortions will once again be offered.

And so, the fight continues.  And we are preparing.  In also trying to look on the bright side of things, this new location in Drake will afford us an opportunity we never had at the Army Post Rd. location: an opportunity to provide sidewalk counseling.  I offered a training in Ames last February and will be offering another training here in Des Moines this August. Please visit my table to pick up a flyer.  

We want to equip you with the tools and skills to talk to these women as they enter the clinic and offer them another option.  To offer them a real choice!  

The other bright hope is that by June we will have a decision on our twice passed Heartbeat law.  We pray and take courage and trust in Christ.

If you are sitting here today and hearing the roller coaster of the highs and lows of pro-life here in Iowa, I will leave you with the words from our Father in Heaven who alone can provide our solace:

“Let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.  For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.  Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.”

Friends, keep pressing on.  We’ve got this.  And Christ has us.  Victory!

God Bless!

I would now like to introduce Father Nick Stark pastor at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carlisle to provide our closing prayer.  

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