Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yesterday In Olympia

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By 11:30 AM, yesterday morning, we counted over 330 people lining the halls outside the House Hearing Room on the Capitol campus. J.R. McGee, a real estate broker from Centralia, sent this picture to me last night. It is one hallway, looking only one way from about the middle, but gives you an idea of the crowd of people who value life and took time to attend the hearing on HB 1366. A bill that will essentially shut down the pro-life Pregnancy Centers.

As we took the head count, I counted 7 people who were wearing Planned Parenthood identification, the rest were wearing the "I Love Pregnancy Resource Centers" buttons.

I also had the opportunity to speak to so many of you who support us in our ministry and read our blogs.

I want to personally thank all of you who made the effort and stood in line---some for 2 hours, to attend the hearing in support of the Centers and of life.

It was unbelievable what would happen at around 12:45.

Small groups of Planned Parenthood/NARAL folks began showing up, meeting in the hallway, then moved collectively (about 70 or so) to the door of the hearing room, ahead of those standing in line---some for a couple of hours. A spokesperson for the House of Representatives, I presume, came out and announced that they wanted to be "fair" so they would be allowing 60 people from each side to enter the 120-seat hearing room. Ten or so Planned Parenthood supporters went to an off site room to watch the hearing, while perhaps as many as 350 to 400 pro-life people were left standing, welcome, I suppose, to also watch a screen somewhere.

That was the worst example of "fair" I have seen in a very long time.

Inside the hearing room, I heard a reasoned, calm, professional, classy and sincere testimony of why the Legislature must not pass this bill. I was incredibly proud of Representatives Brad Klippert and Kevin Parker who spoke against the bill. There were doctors, nurses, volunteers, a lawyer and former clients who spoke honestly and sincerely about the value of Pregnancy Centers. And how this bill, if passed, will essentially shut them down.

If the House passes this bill, it will be in spite of the obvious benefit and value to the communities where these centers serve. In spite of the more than 60,000 people they help each year and the $18,000,000 they save the State budget each year. It will be solely because of blind ideology or some debt owed to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.

Oh, yes.

I was reminded of the importance of electing people to public office who believe in the sanctity of life. The value of family. And natural marriage.

God bless you.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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