WINTER PARK, Florida (www.forerunner.com) – It was a balmy Saturday morning in central Florida. Andrew and Jenna Tosh went for a walk in their upper middle class neighborhood with their young son in a stroller and dog on a leash. Upon returning to their home they were greeted by the sight of 28 pro-life evangelists lining the sidewalk in their neighborhood on Aloma Avenue. Many were holding graphic signs depicting aborted babies from six weeks gestation through late term.
Someone promptly called the police. The Tosh family was then able to run the gauntlet of pro-lifers. Most did not recognize Jenna as the new CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando and simply greeted them as passersby. Arriving at her front door, she summoned a police officer that had arrived in her driveway and briefly burst into tears.
In a recent interview in Orlando Weekly, Tosh said she expected to meet with opposition due to her position as a CEO with Planned Parenthood, the largest single abortion provider in America.
It’s obviously unsettling. I do have a young child and I have had to take a number of safety precautions already…. But it is just the world we’ve grown accustomed to in the Planned Parenthood family. Just because there are some crazy people who might want to hurt my family doesn’t mean that these services aren’t critically important, because they are. I’m not going to back down to bullies just because they have some backward opinion about how women should be living our lives.
Indeed the sight of a young mother and father, with a toddler and a dog in tow being somehow threatened by “crazies” is sure to provoke the anger of abortion rights advocates and even some concern among those who are pro-life.
One Orlando area pro-life activist, Heather Mellichamp, a mother of two young children, sympathized, but put added her own perspective.
If this was about anything besides abortion, I’d feel sorry for her, especially with her little boy right there. But then I remind myself: She’s in the business of baby murder – killing tiny children – and that is absolutely unacceptable.
Despite Jenna Tosh’s fears, the demonstration was without incident like dozens of other pro-life neighborhood Awareness Campaigns that have been conducted in central Florida in the past few years. The police told the sign holders they were “good to go” as long as trespass laws were not being violated.
Pat McEwen of Life Coalition International agreed that the demeanor of the Awareness Campaign was peaceful, but added that the call to the police was based on a lie.
The policeman [seen in the video] talked to me later. He said he was angry, but not at us. He said the lies made him angry – that people who disagreed with what we were doing had to tell lies about us. Some lies he mentioned were that we playing loud music – he said that he heard none; that we were yelling at cars passing – he heard only cars yelling at us; that we were blocking the road and sidewalk – he saw none of that and that when he walked by me I moved immediately to give him more room.
Pro-life sidewalk counselor Allura Lightfoot, who sometimes ministers at Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, asks if redemption could come out of this experience.
I wonder if her tears could be the beginning of a softened heart. I hope and pray she is not able to sleep at night as she is haunted by the realization that unlike her little boy, hundreds of little girls and boys will never go for a walk around the neighborhood with mommy and daddy because she allowed them to be slaughtered in her place of business.
Well-known pro-life blogger, Jill Stanek, points out that this further begs the question.
Why did she start crying Saturday? She could have been humiliated by the exposure. She could have been upset that her young son saw graphic photos of how she makes her living. She could have been shocked at the realization her home was no longer a respite. The best hope is Jenna’s heart was pierced, and she’s on the road to a conversion. I do know a lot of people were praying for Jenna Saturday and continue to pray.
The purpose of a Neighborhood Awareness Campaign is to call abortion providers to repentance and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The campaign also makes use of flyers to call on neighbors and concerned Christians to “adopt an abortionist” in prayer.