While it may be true that some of the protesters for the 40 days for lies are "just praying", and while it may be trust that some of them may have good intentions, that doesn't make the whole campaign any better. Their good intentions do not make the environment any less hostile, for the patients or for the doctors. Their good intentions do not mean that they aren't bringing a dangerous amount of attention to doctors. The good intentions of some protesters do not minimize the fact that this campaign is a hurtful one, whose main purpose is to harass women.
If the 40 days for lies campaign were just about praying for women who would have abortions, they would stay at home and pray. However, they choose to "pray" at the clinics. The reason? They want to make a presence. They know that making a presence will scare patients. They know that making a presence at abortion clinics will threaten doctors. It's not about life. It's not about helping people.
Some words about the 40 days for lies, from Dr. Warren Hern.
"We cannot use the front entrance of my office, and we can't use the front driveway exit of my office with the demonstrators present," Dr. Hern said. "My friend and colleague Dr. George Tiller was shot by a "peaceful" anti-abortion demonstrator in August, 1993 as he drove out of his office driveway in Wichita, Kansas in an assassination attempt." Shelley Shannon, the woman who shot Dr. Tiller, wrote to Dr. Hern from Kansas state prison telling him, "You're next."
Dr. Tiller was assassinated in church last May 31, 2009 by Scott Roeder, who has been convicted of first degree murder.
"The anti-abortion protesters in front of my office terrorize me, my staff, and my patients. 35 years of anti-abortion violence and assassinations have taught us that there is no such thing as a 'peaceful' anti-abortion demonstration. Every single act of violence, every single clinic bombing, every single assassination and murder by anti-abortion fanatics has been preceded by 'peaceful' demonstrations and 'prayer vigils,' Hern said. "This is target identification for anti-abortion assassins. The mere presence of the demonstrators is, as far as we are concerned, a 'threat of force' because of the history of anti-abortion violence," said Hern.
"The '40 Days For Life' demonstrators and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church is giving Boulder an unwarranted international reputation for anti-abortion fanaticism," Hern said. "The priest is orchestrating this medieval madness."
"The Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church was involved in the disgraceful theft of fetal ashes from my patients from different religious traditions for burial in the church cemetery on January 22, 2005, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade," Hern said. "This was outrageous political and sectarian exploitation of personal tragedy and willful violation of the privacy and personal grief of my patients," said Hern.
Dr. Hern is right. There is no such thing as a "peaceful" anti-choice protest. Killing doctors and taking away liberty will never be peaceful.
Also, please remember that, even though the 40 days for the harassment of women is officially over, a lot of clinics still need your help. It's not to late to volunteer to escort!