I participated as a support crew member for the first time on the 2014 St. Augustine, FL, route and honestly, at the beginning, I was nervous and not really looking forward to it. My older sister, the avid cyclist, had ridden with the team the year before and convinced me to come along, assuring me that I would enjoy the experience despite the stress, regular laundry duty, and lack of sleep. I remember driving to St. Augustine and thinking, “It’s just ten days. Get through it, and it will be over soon.” At the end of the ride, I found myself reflecting back and wanting to do it all over again! Working with a team for a cause that I truly care about was a great experience, and seeing the many people who supported us and our cause made me realize how truly widespread the pro-life movement is. Sometimes I have felt like the odd man out when it comes to my beliefs, like being pro-life is some kind of weird indie club that nobody takes seriously, which is far from true. On the ride, I became incredibly proud of the sacrifice and “get’r done” attitude of my teammates who would, of their own free will, bike 100+ miles a day and tackle the navigation frustrations of driving through farming backroads with spotty GPS. I am amazed by the amount of dedication and care that goes into this ride which supports the crisis pregnancy centers that save the lives of children and aids well-being of families by extension.
During the 2015 ride, this year’s Planned Parenthood scandal came to light and I was appalled like so many others by the language and callous attitudes of the officials, doctors, and technicians in these undercover videos. While ultimately, and to the best of my knowledge, most state investigations have found no wrongdoing committed by Planned Parenthood when it comes to the sale of baby body parts for profit, the lack of respect for human life shown is still very disturbing. The fact that Planned Parenthood officials had, in one of the latest videos, said “This (public knowledge of remuneration for donation) could destroy your organization and us, if we don’t time those conversations correctly,” and that “It’s an issue that you might imagine we’re not really that comfortable talking about on email” makes me very suspicious that there was wrongdoing committed. The way the organization shows a preference for abortion over any other option (i.e. adoption, parenting) is sickening and, I think, quite unnecessary. Guilty or not of this crime, I don’t think that Planned Parenthood deserves or, with 127$ million in revenue for the year of 2014, really needs my tax dollars. Five states so far have said they wish to defund the organization, and I hope this trend continues.
I plan on participating in the 2016 ride and will continue to support the work of crisis pregnancy centers because I believe there are other options besides abortion, and that I have a responsibility to look out for my little brothers and sisters in Christ. We are family. That’s why I ride (along) #forthebabies.
Celeste Woodman (right) is a Florida Registered Dental Hygienist and participated in the 2014 and 2015 Biking for Babies rides. When not working, she enjoys making jewelry, reading good books, and spending time with family.