Planned Parenthood Protester Profile
HOUGHTON -- What motivates a person to display graphic signs of aborted
fetuses during Houghton's traffic rush? Here is what I learned when
interviewing one of these anti-Planned Parenthood protesters.
| Erik Niemela, 21, of Chassell, displays a graphic
anti-abortion sign to traffic crossing the Portage Lake Lift Bridge on Feb. 8,
2002. (Photo copyright 2002, Bill Fink Communications)
- What is your name? Erik Niemela.
- How old are you? 21.
- Where do you live? Chassell.
- What church, temple or mosque do you attend? I donít think thatís
- Are you here today as an official representative of that congregation?
- Why is it important to you that women not have the freedom to make their
own reproductive health decisions? Because God is the only person who
has the right to give and take life. [And how does that relate to womenís
reproductive health decisions?] Because this is murder. [Ok, "that"
being abortion is murder?] Right.
|Erik Niemela, 21, of Chassell, stands with his abortion
protest sign at the south end of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge on Friday
afternoon, February 8, 2002. (Photo copyright 2002, Bill Fink Communications)
What do you hope to accomplish by being here today? The reason we show
these signs is so people will know what a child looks like after an abortionist
has finished with it.
- Why is it important to you that such graphic signs accompany your protest?
Because, like I said, itís important that people know what a child looks like
after an abortionist has finished with it.
- What would you like to say to the parents passing by, as they try to
explain to their own children in the car, about what these signs show and why
people would want children to see them? Itís important for children to
know that this is wrong, and I think that if the children ask, "What are
those?" it should be very simple to say, "Thatís a child and someone
- How do you, in your personal life, assure that children, born into family
situations where they are not wanted, are protected from abuse and neglect?
[pause] I guess [pause] [No answer? No response?] Basically, I guess thatís
- Aside from issues involving abortion, how do you feel about the other
reproductive health and family planning services provided by Planned Parenthood?
My opinion is that Planned Parenthood doesnít do a whole lot of good at all.
First of all, what you refer to as sexual activity and such, is only to be
between a man and a woman that are married to each other. Anything else is
fornication or adultery. And furthermore, as far as birth control measures,
again I would say that God is the only one. He knows how many children he wants
to give to a person. And for myself, Iím not married, but if I was, I would
think that God would far better know how to plan my family than I ever could.
Editor's Note: See links below to articles in the Michigan Tech
Lode concerning the anti-Planned Parenthood protests as well as an editorial
on women's right to free choice. Links to a January 8, 2002, article in the State
News of Michigan State University and to the April 29, 2002, Daily Mining
Gazette article follow.
in a sign?" (MTU Lode, April 23, 2002)
Pickets follow PP" (MTU Lode, April 17, 2002)
campaign to make money off protesters" (MTU Lode, March 20,
should be a woman's right" (MTU Lode, April 24, 2002)
Parenthood faces funding cutbacks" (MSU's State News article of
Jan. 8, 2002, on bill passed in Michigan House last December)
- "Family planning
bill before Senate legislation" (Daily Mining Gazette, April 29,
Learn more about the author of this guest column, Bill
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