Comic's show in Pontiac brings out protesters against Planned Parenthood (Detroit Free Press)

Posted on the Detroit Free Press on July 9, 2011.


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Published: 07.09.11| Updated: 07.11.11

Two hours into their protest against Planned Parenthood’s comedy fundraiser featuring Lizz Winstead, a group of about 30 teens came running around the corner of Pike Street and Saginaw Street in Pontiac, carrying yellow balloons bearing the word “life.”

The kids stood opposite Planned Parenthood supporters, gathered in front of the Eagle Theater where Winstead is expected to take the stage at 8 p.m. on the first leg of a short tour in support of Planned Parenthood. She’ll end up in Brooklyn in a few weeks.

Winstead, co-creator of “The Daily Show” on cable TV, is in Pontiac as Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan is trying to open a clinic in Auburn Hills. The owners of an adjacent hotel are trying to stop them with the help of a lawyer who has said pro-life organizations have offered to defray his costs.

The leader of the anti-abortion group was Bekha Smith, 17, of Sterling Heights, who said the flash mob idea came from an uncle.

“Abortion is wrong, they are killing human life,” she said, before running back to the group for another chant.

J.B. Lacey, a Michigan State University student from Detroit, said she decided to spend her afternoon supporting Planned Parenthood because women’s health care is important. She carried a sign in support of cancer screenings, which is one of several primary care services offered at Planned Parenthood.

“We know we’re probably not going to change their minds. But other people need to be aware of the threat to Planned Parenthood,” she said.

Winstead said earlier that she hopes her show will be cathartic for women who may have struggled with accessing women’s health care.

Regarding protesters, she said earlier, “I can’t change their minds, but I don’t live in a theocracy. I don’t want my tax dollars paying for war, but I don’t get to say that. I don’t understand the logic of any of it.”

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