Planned Parenthood office is being surrounded by competing offices, messages

Posted at: 10/25/2013 5:19 PM
Updated at: 10/25/2013 5:44 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

GLENS FALLS - The sidewalks near Planned Parenthood have been busy lately.

Competing groups are drawing attention to the services offered at the Warren St. health clinic.

A group that represents the Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus, has been praying here seven days a week for 40 days, hoping Planned Parenthood will stop performing abortions.

"Abortion, yeah it's legal, but it's horrible. It's horrific," said Sean Sullivan, before standing in front of the building to pray silently.

The anti-abortion protests have sparked counter rallies. A group calling itself "Get Your Girl On" demonstrates across the street from Planned Parenthood in support of the agency.

"We want to make it clear that there was another side to the issue and many people are supporters of the work that Planned Parenthood does," said Enid Mastrianni.

The rallies are taking place as this Planned Parenthood is seemingly being surrounded. An anti-abortion counseling center is moving into the building right next door. And a Christian, anti-abortion adoption center is planned across the street. They've placed large religious statues that stare directly at Planned Parenthood.

"People need to know what happens there. Instead of just thinking that it's really nothing. They begin to think about this is a life, this is a child," said Susan Balfour of the Open Arms Pregnancy Center.

But Planned Parenthood counters that they already offer the counseling services, and the adoption services that are moving in around them.

"We have a professional on site who is a licensed master in social work and she's an adoption specialist," said Linda Scharf, director of communications for Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson.

The new adoption agency will reportedly open across the street from Planned Parenthood before the end of the year.