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Protesters picketing Planned Parenthood for 40 days

Protesters picketing Planned Parenthood for 40 days
Protesters picketing Planned Parenthood for 40 days

A Texas-based organization protesting abortion rights that’s working with local Catholic parishes planted itself outside Williston’s Planned Parenthood offices last week.

After a “kickoff rally” outside the women’s reproductive health nonprofit last Wednesday evening, and dinner at Holy Family Parish Hall, the group of protesters held prayer vigils and picketed through the weekend with a day-long gathering Saturday.

The effort is part of a campaign, called “United 40 Days for Life,” which is staging a 40-day mobile bus tour across the U.S. that will bring anti-choice activists to cities in all 50 states. The tour began Sept. 28 in Washington D.C., the organization’s website said. From now until Nov. 6, Catholics affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington are gathering outside Planned Parenthood to protest abortion with signs, megaphones and groups of people whose aim is to “save lives,” according to United’s website.

Saturday’s gathering, made up of about 30 people, converged at Talcott Road in a grassy area near Cornerstone Drive. Many wore black, and appeared to be praying. Some held signs in the direction of drivers on Cornerstone Drive, and one man preached into a megaphone on Saturday morning. Calls to the United 40 Days for Life main office in Bryan, Tex. were not returned by press time. I

In a blog on the organization’s website about the Vermont and Maine vigils, organizer Steve Karlen wrote, “Since this outreach began, a solid percentage of our leaders have been post-abortive mothers working hard to protect other moms from making the same mistake. Delia [Warnecke] who spoke at the Burlington/Williston rally, appeared not only as the Rutland 40 Days for Life campaign director, but also as a representative of Silent No More Awareness. Her testimony brought the crowd to tears,” he wrote. Warenecke’s full name was on the Burlington Diocese’s website, which is organizing vigils at Planned Parenthood through Nov. 6. Calls to Planned Parenthood were not returned at press time.

– Jess Wisloski