The scene outside an abortion clinic

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As the election season winds down, abortion opponents are increasingly getting alarmed about an Obama presidency.

All sorts of stuff is floating around the Internet, including this letter by New York Cardinal Edward Egan on what abortion truly means. 

Last week, when I ran a column about the folks holding prayer vigils in front of the Washington DC area’s busiest abortion clinics, I wasn’t able to get ahold of the new director of the clinic, Laura Meyers, who came on the job Sept. 2. Formerly, she lived near Buffalo as the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Western New York.

When we connected this week, I asked her what she thought of the 40 Days for Life campaign, a huge effort by thousands of pro-lifers, to hold 24/7 prayer vigils in front of abortion clinics. Her site at 1108 16th St. NW, only a few blocks from the White House, is quite popular among protestors because abortions are performed there several days a week and because of its accessibility to the Metro.

Specifically, I asked her what she thought of the folks saying the Rosary and praying some 20 feet from her front door.

“We try to keep a respectful distance,” she said. “They have a legitimate right to voice their concerns and our staff have the right to go about their work as well. We don’t talk to them unless something happens.”

Something did happen the other day, when she was approaching the front door of the clinic. A woman was praying on the front lawn seemingly oblivious to her two children.

“A baby was crawling into the street and a young kid was running around,” Ms. Meyers said. “Now I’m not going to let a baby go into that street. The mother had her back turned toward them and there were no other adults around.”

“It was horrifying to me as a mom. When my children were that age, well, you know how fast a baby could crawl. And you’re talking about 16th Street.”

So the new president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metro Washington picked up the baby and plunked it down beside the praying woman. The woman did not thank her. 

“She just kind of looked at me,” Ms. Meyers said. “There are this set of operating assumptions that people who support women making private, personal decisions are anti-child. Or that people who are anti-choice are pro-child.”

I’d love to know what the praying woman thought when the rescuer of her baby turned around and entered the clinic.

 

- Julia Duin, religion editor, The Washington Times

 

 

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About the Author
Julia Duin

Julia Duin

Julia Duin is the Times' religion editor. She has a master's degree in religion from Trinity School for Ministry (an Episcopal seminary) and has covered the beat for three decades. Before coming to The Washington Times, she worked for five newspapers, including a stint as a religion writer for the Houston Chronicle and a year as city editor at the ...

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