When I was in college during the early 1990′s, there was a great surge in pro-life activism. Led by the preaching of Randall Terry and the witness of Joan Andrews, many thousands of prolifers were praying and rescuing at abortion clinics across the country. However, after the draconian FACE law went into effect in 1995, making blockading an abortion clinic a federal crime, the number of rescues dropped to almost nothing and even those praying at clinics dropped severely. Whereas before you could find hundreds of pro-lifers at certain clinics on Saturday mornings, by the late 1990′s you only saw a handful of people – usually middle-aged and older Catholics praying the Rosary.
Fortunately, it appears that the tide is turning (or returning, as the case may be), at least here in DC. I mentioned two weeks ago that Archbishop Wuerl recently prayed outside an abortion clinic. Now, the students of Christendom College organized a massive prayer vigil in front of an abortion clinic in DC:
Shield of Roses, the pro-life student group at Christendom College, reports that it held its largest protest ever when more than 200 people protested at the Planned Parenthood clinic just north of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Students, faculty, staff and others traveled to the U.S. capital on Oct. 31. While the group protests at the same clinic each Saturday morning during the academic year, normally only 20 to 30 students participate.
Once a semester the group organizes what it calls a “Mega Shield” event to encourage as many as possible to participate. Last year’s event drew as many as 125 students, according to Christendom College…
Christendom Admissions Director Tom McFadden, an attendee at the Oct. 31 protest, said it is hard to tell the effect of the annual March for Life held on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
In contrast, McFadden said the Saturday protest made a difference.
“Through the grace of God and our physical presence, we ended up saving the lives of two babies because their mothers chose not to enter the clinic that day. It doesn’t really get much better than that!”
That final point is why I don’t like to call these events “protests” like the article does. The term “protest” implies a political agenda, replete with slogans and chanting. These prayer vigils, on the other hand, are spiritual events whose primary purpose is to confront the unseen powers of darkness, save the lives of the children scheduled to be killed that day and convert the hearts of the women and workers at the clinic. There is nothing wrong with working within the political system to protest for the end of legalized abortion, but that is not what these prayer vigils are for.
Hopefully Christendom College will be able to continue to have many students be a prayerful presence at the abortion clinics in DC. God bless them!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!