Yearly prayer vigil to urge end to abortions begins
BY BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Thursday, September 27, 2012
9/27/12 at 7:10 AM
Tulsa's annual "40 Days for Life" prayer vigil began Wednesday evening at the Garden of Hope, 6135 E. 32nd Place, a park owned by the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa across the street from Reproductive Services, Tulsa's only abortion clinic.
Keynote speaker Bishop Edward J. Slattery told the crowd of about 200 Catholics, Protestants and others assembled at the park that life is gift from God.
"We may not tamper with or deny the meaning of life," he said.
The 55 million abortions in the United States since the Supreme Court legalized abortion is a number that "renders us speechless," he said, saying one in five American fetuses is aborted, including 90 percent of those with Down Syndrome.
Slattery pledged to continue the fight to end abortion.
"We will not be silent," he said. "We will continue until every child conceived is born."
Timothy Putnam, with the Diocese of Tulsa's Family Life Office, coordinated the event. He said prayer will be offered around the clock for 40 days during the vigil, which is being held in cities across the nation.
He stressed that participants are required to pursue only peaceful solutions to abortion and to "show compassion and reflect Christ's love" to all employees, volunteers and clients of Reproductive Services.
Speaker Dana Rutledge described a life on a downhill spiral into drugs, prostitution and homelessness after having first one and then another abortion. She said she found freedom and love after attending a retreat with Rachel's Vineyard, a Catholic abortion recovery ministry.
In addition to constant prayer, 40 Days for Life will hold a midway event at the park Oct. 13 and will conclude with a victory event at Central Church of the Nazarene on Nov. 4.
Bill Sherman 918-581-8398
People watch during a kickoff rally for 40 Days for Life, an annual pro-life prayer vigil outside of the Garden of Hope on Wednesday. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World