Leibee: You have no business protesting outside Planned Parenthood

Katrina Leibee

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

If you have ever walked around Shields and Elizabeth, you may have noticed the Planned Parenthood building. It’s easily recognizable because of the protesters that are often outside. 


You may also scroll through Facebook or Twitter and notice that people are advertising Mass outside of Planned Parenthood. It’s common for religious organizations or conservative groups to target Planned Parenthood for their anti-abortion demonstrations.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion on abortion, but under no circumstances should anyone protest, hold Mass or conduct religious services outside of Planned Parenthood buildings. Far too often, people feel the need to do this, disrupting and discouraging women from going to get their basic healthcare.

For context, Planned Parenthood provides STD testing, abortions, birth control, overall reproductive wellness, relationship help, breast exams and cancer screenings. They are a big part of affordable healthcare for women that are in need of it. The establishment right across from campus is one of the few remaining Planned Parenthood buildings in Northern Colorado. 

We do not know the background, experiences or stories of those walking into planned parenthood, and to make them feel shame or guilt for going to get the healthcare they are entitled to is counterproductive and ineffective. 

Outside of the building is not the place to be protesting against abortion or holding Mass in an attempt to make those using their services feel guilty. The reality is that abortions are only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s services.

We do not know the background, experiences or stories of those walking into Planned Parenthood, and to make them feel shame or guilt for getting the healthcare they are entitled to is counterproductive and ineffective. 

Many people that have to go into Planned Parenthood are victims of sexual assault and are trying to get tested for STDs. The last thing they need is to feel guilty or shamed by protesters or religious services outside.

The outside of a healthcare establishment is also not the place to hold Mass. We would not do STD testing and breast exams outside the doors of a church because that would be extremely inappropriate. The same goes for holding Mass outside of a healthcare clinic — it’s simply not the place.

Planned Parenthood even issued a statement saying they do not encourage demonstrating in support of the business outside of their healthcare centers. Even those outside showing support for the establishment and condemning anti-abortion protesters are still disrupting the people just trying to access healthcare.

Protesters line the sidewalk outside Planned Parenthood at 825 S. Shields St. to support the Stand Up for Women’s Health event Saturday morning. Approximately 40 CSU students and community members showed support for Planned Parenthood in response to a recent shooting at the organization’s Colorado Springs location. (Photo credit: Sarah Papa.)

There are plenty of other options to go about protesting and demonstrating for your beliefs that don’t disrupt the daily lives of others. Planned Parenthood accepts volunteers to act as greeters for patients coming into the buildings but does not support counter-protesters.

Planned Parenthood has said that their ultimate goal is to make patients comfortable, just like any other healthcare establishment or business. Even counter-protesters can be intimidating and overwhelming. Again, the people going into Planned Parenthood are coming from all different walks of life, and they deserve to get their healthcare in peace.


There are still ways to promote your religious views and pro-life beliefs, such as through your college’s organizations and churches, but directly disturbing someone that may just be trying to get a breast exam is the worst way to go about it. 

There are also ways to promote your pro-choice beliefs, such as volunteering for the organization or demonstrating elsewhere.

This will always be a difficult subject and one on which people will likely never agree. However, there is a way to go about sharing your viewpoint that does not directly impact and disrupt innocent people.

Katrina Leibee can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.