By: Cierra Putman
MIDLAND - For some, it's hard to stomach, a billboard in Midland showing an aborted fetus, right across from Planned Parenthood. While the Pro-Life group behind it says it's necessary, others are asking if they're taking their message too far.
Anyone, young or old, can see the graphic message on North Fort Worth Street and many folks say it's too much.
"I'm Pro-Life for my own family and that type of thing, but politically Pro-Choice," Cody Wallace said. "I just think it needs to be a little bit more respectful the message and not quite as graphic."
Missionary and staunch Pro-Life supporter, Paul Moore agrees.
"My concern in addition to children seeing it and forcing a discussion maybe earlier is that women may pick-up a level of guilt and shame and may want to separate from those who would try and love them and try to help them," Moore said. "I believe that the body of Christ is inclusive not exclusive."
Midland Catholics for Life put up the new pictures on its billboard last week. The group's president Gina Aaron says the graphic images are necessary.
"We feel this has to be done," Aaron said. "So, the world knows, particularly here in Midland. Midland citizens know the atrocities that are being done behind those doors."
Planned Parenthood disagrees.
"Of course we have freedom of speech, but it's another form of intimidation," Carla Holeva with Planned Parenthood Choice, said. "It's the same things we see in front of our clinics. It's the same kind of harassment and yelling that is done to our patients and our staff. It's not unusual. Unfortunately, it is something we have learned to live with."
It didn't take long for Planned Parenthood to speak out against the sign. In this past Sunday's Midland Reporter Telegram, they placed a letter to the editor asking Midland Catholics for Life to take it down. The group says they have every right to have the billboard, and it's not going anywhere.
Carla Holeva says the Midland facility serves 50 counties and performs about 1,300 abortions a year.
A number the Midland group hopes will decrease because of their billboard.
"No one should be deprived life just for the location of where they live, which is in a woman's womb," Aaron said. "That should be the safest place for children to be."
No matter what Holeva says they're there for women.
"It's not my decision, it's not Planned Parenthood's decision," Holeva said. "It's the woman's decision. What we give at Planned Parenthood is education and information."
Planned Parenthood also offers other services including counseling, check-ups and family planning.
Since last week, they say they've gotten tons of calls from people upset with the billboard's message. While it may be hard to look at, the City of Midland says it's not in conflict with any city laws.
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