Mayor Apologizes for Calling Pro-Lifers “Forces of Darkness”

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 16, 2012   |   12:01PM   |   Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell has apologized for calling pro-life advocates “Forces of Darkness” after he received significant criticism following his using the term to describe pro-life people at a fundraising event for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Heartwell defended taxpayer funding for the organization that does more than 25 percent of the abortions nationwide. However, his defense of taxpayer funding for the abortion giant is not what is making waves — instead, a comment about pro-life advocates is upsetting pro-life people.

“Yet, every year, the forces of darkness seek to deprive women of the health and education they need by choking off the funding to Planned Parenthood,” said Heartwell.

Heartwell publicly apologized for labeling “ultraconservative” political and religious people as “forces of darkness.”

“My comments were terribly insensitive and I regret them, and to those that I hurt I deeply apologize,” Heartwell interjected during a public comment period near the end of tonight’s City Commission meeting, according to news reports.

Heartwell said he also received e-mails from around the country, some labeling him as a demonic force and others offering to pray for him.

Tonight, several residents identified themselves as Heartwell’s “forces of darkness” and cautioned the ordained minister to rethink his perspective on Planned Parenthood. He was criticized for speaking at a Planned Parenthood function, and one resident questioned Heartwell’s spiritual convictions.

“You’re messing with God himself,” said Grand Rapids resident Barb Hickedy. “Be careful what holy ground you may be walking on or desecrating.”

Some speakers thanked Heartwell for his apology, while adding their disappointment with his comments.

“Anybody else want to beat up on the mayor tonight?” Heartwell asked at one point during the public comment period.

In December, the state of Michigan withdrew a $200,000 taxpayer-funded grantto Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan, which is in the process of building a new abortion facility in Auburn Hills. The Michigan Department of Community Health dropped the grant, according to Ed Rivet, Legislative Director for Right to Life of Michigan. The grant was supposed to go towards helping Planned Parenthood funish its 17,050 sq. ft. mill in Auburn Hills, which is currently just an empty building.

Planned Parenthood has come under heavy criticism in recent years for covering up cases of statutory rape by failing to report abortions done on unborn children of teen girls who have been victimized to authorities and by aiding and assisting alleged sex traffickers in obtaining abortions and other “services” for the women and girls they victimize.

The abortion business has also been found to fail to report criminal child sexual abuse, fail to comply with parental involvement laws, assist those engaged in prostitution and/or sex trafficking, and engage in the dangerous misuse of the abortion drug RU-486.

ACTION:  Contact Mayor George Heartwell at [email protected] or 456-3168 to thank him for apologizing.