BALTIMORE, Md. — With a lone marked, police squad car keeping watch from across the street, volunteers stood outside Planned Parenthood on Howard Street in Baltimore to counter pro-life advocates who came here energized by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn roe v. Wade.
“We don’t stand outside there saying, ‘Don’t go in there’,” one volunteer leveled at a protester.
“Then why did you get so angry and call me a terrorist when one changed her mind?” he replied.
“About two years ago, a lady was here for abortion and I was able to minister to her, speak with her and let her know there’s other options,” said Betty Hendrickson of Glen Burnie, “and yesterday, her baby celebrated her second birthday, and she often says, ‘If it weren’t for you, my baby miracle would not be here today.'”
Pro-choice advocates had seen this coming for months since a draft copy of the Supreme Court opinion was leaked.
Karen Nelson is the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Maryland.
“The threat to abortion access across the country? It’s not a drill. It’s not hypothetical. It is happening,” Nelson said.
With as many as two dozen states prepared to ban or restrict abortions, Maryland expects more women denied access elsewhere to come here, and with nine clinics and 125 workers across the state, Planned Parenthood is planning for the worst.
“I think all aspects of our business---everything goes up exponentially, because we’re going to have additional people come here, so yes, we’re concerned,” said Nelson.
Even if thus far, the two sides have only engaged in a war of words.
“Violence is never the answer,” said Hendrickson. “We’re people that are saying, ‘Don’t kill your baby’. We certainly don’t want to hurt other human beings.”