Tulsa pro-life advocates rally near abortion clinic
BY BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
9/21/10 at 10:56 PM
Tulsa pro-life advocates joined communities across the nation Tuesday to launch “40 Days for Life,” a period of prayer, fasting and educational programs aimed at ending abortion.
About 250 people attended the rally, held at the Garden of Hope, a park owned by the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa across the street from Reproductive Services, 6136 E. 32nd Place, Tulsa’s only abortion clinic.
While children played on the grass in the balmy evening, adults sang worship songs, prayed and listened to several speakers.
Tracy Callicoat, who heads the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa’s pro-life efforts, urged those at the rally to sign up for one-hour segments of prayer so that prayers will be offered around the clock at the park during the 40-day period.
She said everyone who prays will be required to sign a statement of peace, agreeing to pursue only peaceful solutions to ending abortion and agreeing to not threaten, physically contact or verbally abuse people associated with the clinic.
The Rev. Angelo VanderPutten, with the Parish of St. Peter Catholic Church, called abortion a sin of selfishness.
He said even the pagans of ancient Rome said Carthage must be destroyed because its people sacrificed their babies to the god Moloch.
“We’re worse,” he said. “Our women sacrifice their babies for their own selves.
“As Catholics, and as Christians, we need to oppose this culture of self-gratification and pleasure.”
Not all Christians oppose abortion, but the Rev. Sharon Daugherty, pastor of Victory Christian Center, said the abortion issue is one in which Catholics and Protestants can come together.
“God loves life, and he loves people,” she said.
“We live in a world that’s upside down in its thinking. They need our compassion and the truth to set them free.”
Daugherty introduced Cynthia Carney, a member of her church who had an abortion as a teenager and now runs the “Healing Hearts” post-abortion recovery ministry.
“I made the choice to take the life of my child, and I paid dearly for that choice,” Carney said.
“We’re going to believe for that clinic to close down,” she said of Reproductive Services.
No one from Reproductive Services could be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States in 1973. In the intervening years, state legislatures have made repeated efforts to limit women’s right to choose abortion.
Over the last six years, more than 300 communities have participated in the 40 Days for Life campaign, and more than 350,000 people from some 9,000 churches have committed to pray and fast, according to David Bereit, national director of the program.
Tuesday’s event launched Tulsa’s third campaign.
Read more in Wednesday's Tulsa World.
Cynthia Carney, who runs the “Healing Hearts” post-abortion recovery ministry, talks about the abortion she had as a teenager as Victory Christian Center Pastor Sharon Daugherty listens Tuesday evening. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World