The Forty Day Abortion Protest

The Gazette of Colorado Springs published an interesting article on February 7 about an ongoing protest of an office of Planned Parenthood:

40-day, round-the-clock vigil will protest abortion

By Mark Barna
February 7, 2008 – 12:49AM

For the next 39 days, a group of Catholics and Protestants will gather around the clock on a sidewalk outside a Planned Parenthood office to protest abortion.

The vigil began at 12:01 a.m. on Ash Wednesday, when the Rev. Bill Carmody [Respect Life director for the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs] prayed outside Planned Parenthood at 1330 W. Colorado Ave. Two or more protesters plan to be there on a rotating schedule to pray, read biblical verses and talk to women arriving for appointments. …

Jody Berger, communications director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said… previous protests have been peaceful, and the participants stayed off Planned Parenthood’s property in accordance with a state “bubble law.” The law prohibits protesters from coming within 100 feet of the entrance of medical facilities and within 8 feet of their clients.

Of course, I fully support the right to protest, on public property, so long as the protest does not impede lawful activity. But I do wonder what sort of “talking to” the clients of Planned Parenthood will receive.

The article points out that, while the protest revolves around Catholic observances, “Protestant protesters say it transcends denominational differences.” While it truly is refreshing that Catholics and Protestants have settled down to work with each other, their bloody decades of mutual slaughter safely behind us, unfortunately these churches join not only to peaceably protest but to enforce their religious doctrines by force of law. I wonder if a single one of the protesters would hesitate to outlaw all or nearly all abortions, given the chance.

The article continues with this insightful exchange:

Berger would like to see all church leaders join with Planned Parenthood to promote sex education and the use of contraception as a way to reduce abortions.

Carmody scoffed at the idea.

“Of course they want to promote contraception,” he said. “It’s good for their business. I promote chastity.”

Ah, yes, chastity. That’s the solution. No sex. I presume that Carmody means to exclude married couples, so long as they too refrain from using contraception, as birth control violates Catholic doctrine.

Of course, I’ve been married for nearly a decade now, and contraception has worked perfectly well over that entire period. I wonder what percent of all pregnancies that end in abortion result from properly used contraception that failed. My guess is that in the large majority of cases, no contraception was used, and in the overwhelming majority of the exceptions, it was used improperly. If everyone who had sex used contraception properly, then, the number of unplanned pregnancies would plummet. But that not an acceptable goal for Carmody.

Perhaps Berger now realizes that the ultimate goal of these Christians is not merely to “educate” women about the alleged evils of abortion, it is to outlaw abortion, based on Christian doctrine, and to eliminate all sex outside of marriage.