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pp rally 6065 webPeople walk from the Waterbury Green to the city's Planned Parenthood facility on July 28. (Photo by Jack Sheedy)

WATERBURY – An impromptu rally July 28 drew about 40 pro-life activists who marched from the Waterbury Green to the Planned Parenthood facility a mile away in the wake of undercover videos that show health care professionals affiliated with Planned Parenthood negotiating fees for aborted fetuses’ body parts.

One of the videos produced by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Medical Progress shows Planned Parenthood Dr. Neborah Nucatola, senior director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Medical Services, discussing ways the abortion procedure can be altered to preserve body parts requested for use in research.

Responding to the videos, Connecticut Right to Life (CRTL) sponsored “Women Betrayed” rallies in Stamford and Waterbury, calling for an investigation into the practices of Planned Parenthood, an end to taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and a pledge by all 2016 presidential candidates to defund Planned Parenthood if they are elected.

Similar rallies occurred simultaneously in many cities across the country.

“It’s really indicative of what has happened to the society in general, that they [Planned Parenthood representatives] can sit there and eat salad and talk about these things like it was nothing,” said John Waite, president of CRTL. “We have to start talking to these people and discussing things with them, finding common ground and trying to end this terrible, terrible scourge we have that is happening today. It’s just awful,” he said.

Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, said that Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, reversed a trend that recognized the rights of more and more people.

“Originally, ‘We the people’ meant white men over the age of 21 who owned property,” he said. Gradually, America recognized the rights of black people and women. “Only in 1973 did we break from that beautiful tradition and take an entire class of people who used to be part of the human community under the law – unborn children – and say, ‘You are no longer a human person,’” he said.

Joe O’Neill, a parishioner at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, told the Transcript, “We’re passionate about it because we believe all life should be protected from conception on and that God made us human beings in his likeness, and that needs to be protected. Life needs to be protected from conception on.”

Marj Knecht, a member of St. Matthew Parish in Forestville, said, “People can really see what Planned Parenthood is all about, and we’ve got to step it up. This is a door that has opened for the pro-life movement. We’ve really got to put our foot in there and let everybody know we’ve got to stand up for life, for liberties, for freedoms.”

Loretta DiPietro, also a St. Matthew parishioner, said her mother was a single parent who chose to give birth to her but had to put her in an orphanage for three years because she could not care for her. After three years, she took Loretta home.

“She was a good mother. She was always looking out for me. It wasn’t easy, but I knew she loved me,” she said.

Representatives of several other pro-life groups were present, including Carolyn’s Place, Y-LIFE and Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.