California citizens horrified by Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby parts are regularly protesting their procurement company, StemExpress. Over the summer, the Center for Medical Progress began releasing undercover video evidence showing Planned Parenthood staffers haggling over organs procured from babies the tax funded organization aborted. Then CMP shocked Americans further when they released an interview they did with a former StemExpress procurement technician detailing how she was ordered to cut through the face of a live baby in order to obtain the required brain tissue.
As America reeled from what they were seeing in the CMP vids, so did the citizens of Placerville where StemExpress is located. In response, several groups of citizens took it up themselves to protest outside Stem Express and expose their baby harvesting connection to the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. One of those protesters described Placerville as a quiet small town in need of jobs. Marcia Brim noted that when Stem Express came into their city the citizens had no idea what the fetal research company was all about.
“Nobody was more astounded by what was happening in our back yard than the people of Placerville. Our county doesn’t even have an abortion clinic,”
According to Marcia, before she saw the CMP videos she had never taken part in a protest. Now, she said she has been protesting outside Stem Express two to three days a week for several months. “A lot of us have never protested anything like this before. That is my story. I prayed for the others but never did it myself,” Marcia said. “What David and CMP did has made a huge difference in our lives and we are very grateful for what he has brought to light,” she added.
Marcia said that protesters have received a very positive response. “On the sidewalk we have people who walk or drive by and it is overwhelmingly apparent that the citizens of Placerville support their protests,” she stated.
Robbie Jeremica agrees stating that he has spent every Wednesday in front of Stem Express for the past 12 weeks where he observed that most of the responses from those who drive or walk by have been positive. He and his Chrissy call their ability to expose what is going on a, “blessing” because, as he explained they are, “a voice for the unborn.” Robbie said he prays for those who disagree with him because they, “cannot see truth because they are blinded by the darkness without Christ in their hearts.”
Laura Ellis joined the protests along with her children. She was so upset about what Stem Express did that she penned a letter to the editor which read in part:
“We are some of the women and children standing outside of Stem Express…We’re writing this letter to share the heart behind the signs you see many of us holding…We find the profit from and research of aborted baby’s body parts to be a devastating aspect of the industry…It is our hope and prayer that as people are faced with the reality of the horrors of abortion, it will cause them to see how terrible all sin is and how desperately they need a Savior.”
Pastor Nick Triveri from Calvary Chapel Placerville, who also attends the demonstrations, said he has observed a loving response by the Christians who are taking a stand, “I am blessed by the Jesus like attitude all have displayed, and done so with love and boldness so as to stand for what is right, and for the innocent lives that are not only sacrificed on the altar of choice, but are being marketed for profit,” he said. “It is tragic that those standing for what is right, good, wholesome, and respectful of God given life are often painted as radicals, nuisances, or obstructionist. I thank God for all who are willing to stand and be a witness of the Lord against such heinous acts that have become so commonly accepted and condoned. If the eyes of just one person are opened, or just one child is saved by their witness and testimony it will all be worth it.”
Marcia detailed the beginning of the Stem Express protests when a small group of concerned citizens organized on Facebook with the intent of educating their community about Stem Express. Their first post from July read:
“the notion that such a practice would be going on within a company that have locations here in our town, is reason enough to speak up about our thoughts on the matter. For the most part Placerville and the El Dorado Foothills communities are tight-nit and conservative in their views. This is not the Bay Area.”
That Facebook group was started by Lisa Hart and another Placerville citizen after they became aware of StemExpress’ involvement with Planned Parenthood. She contacted Misty Tienken to help organize the protests. Mary said that she wanted to focus on Stem Express’ practice of harvesting baby parts as well as potential illegal activity. Lisa said that within days of creating the People Protesting StemExpress Facebook page they had hundreds of followers, noting “I knew I had to take immediate action.”
By August 3, 2015 that group held their first protest receiving coverage from local media. On the 4th the group posted that they had received several thank you messages from people for “bringing awareness.” Then, by August 5th they discovered another group had planned to protest the abortion procurement company as well.
“We’re trying to say stop this practice or get out of Placerville,” Lisa told News10. “We don’t condone this in our town. We don’t want this in our town.”
By the 7th of August there were protests being organized in front of Stem Express on Mondays and then on Wednesdays. And by August 22nd those opposed to Stem Express were expressing their objections every Saturday. In no time, citizen groups unconnected to the Facebook People Protesting Stem Express group were so horrified that they also came out.
Hart said that shortly after the media covered their protests they received news that StemExpress had “cut ties” with Planned Parenthood. The Placerville resident said that in addition to the public outreaches, the group has requested that the Board of Supervisors audits Stem Express for alleged violations. In addition, they have contacted the local El Dorado County Sheriff’s department and demanded an investigation of the fetal tissue procurement company.
When the Center for Medical Progress videos flooded the media, Beth Mora said that she was shocked, “StemExpress was clearly identified as a company that bought and sold parts of babies. As horrible as that notion is, I stopped in my tracks for another reason. I recognized the buildings in the film. The scenery behind the reporter was my peaceful little rural town, Placerville, California,” she told Saynsumthn.
“Stem Express is part of a row of quaint buildings between our town’s beloved Buttercup Pantry and the Council of Arts building. The films made the pit in my stomach churn,” she added.
It was shortly after that when she saw an e-mail from Marcia Brim encouraging her to take a stand and she has been in front of Stem Express most Fridays thereafter, “Our presence says to our community-What is happening here is a crime of the worst proportion…Our sleepy rural town has awakened to what is happening just off of Main Street…The abortion industry forges black chain links with the hot red fires of blind passion. Sparks fly and black powder soot scatters with each smite of the pro-abortion campaign hammer. If standing on a sidewalk can weaken one link, then stand I will…I’m honored to chisel away at one link, a link that happens to live in my neighborhood,” she stated.
Marcia has been documenting her encounters outside Stem Express and is planning to publish them in a blog. She said that when she heard about the pickets in front of Stem Express she immediately contacted over 300 people she knew from a group she was involved with. She said people were grateful to have a way to speak up and the response has been tremendous. According to Marcia at three pastors have joined the protests already along with a variety of citizens from varying denominations and a number of citizens with no religious affiliation at all.
“What started in Placerville wasn’t an exclusively Christian or pro-life effort, it was an effort of local citizens saying Not in my back yard,”
(Image credit: Screen grab from News10 report and People Protesting Stem Express Facebook page.)