Oct 022011
Authors: Andrew Carrera

Around 100 Fort Collins community members from approximately 30 area churches have been protesting outside a local Planned Parenthood facility as part of a five-week campaign called 40 Days of Life, a pro-life event aimed at bringing attention to abortion.

“The campaign is a peaceful public witness of prayer and fasting standing in front of the clinic and drawing attention to the fact that we have an abortion clinic in our community,” said Nancy Anstett, a 40 Days of Life participant.

With 28 locations in Colorado, Planned Parenthood health centers provide more than 123,000 clients with reproductive and basic healthcare services. Some include breast and cervical cancer screening, routine gynecological care, birth control and, at certain locations, abortion services.

The Fort Collins facility, however, is not one of the locations offering abortions.

The protest, which began on Sept. 28 and will go until Nov. 6, is in the form of prayer vigils organizers say are in remembrance of aborted fetuses. In addition to prayer, protest goers are also engaging people walking in and out of the clinic’s facilities.

“If the Holy Spirit prompts you to speak to someone –– remembering the (Colorado protest distance) restrictions –– feel free to do so,” reads the group’s website.

In Christianity, 40 is a biblical number, representing the amount of days Jesus Christ was storied to have fasted in a desert, giving the protest part of its name.

Fort Collins has had a mixed reaction to the demonstrators.

“Young men are the ones who say things you don’t want them to,” said Linda O’Brien, the event’s coordinator for Fort Collins. “Some drove by and yelled, ‘I love abortions!’”

The first 40 Days for Life campaign was held in Bryan, Texas in the fall of 2004. Since then, it has ballooned into an international event. Organizers claim similar vigils are taking place simultaneously in 48 U.S. states, seven Canadian provinces, Australia, England, Spain, Germany and Argentina.

Campaign organizers are also organizing vigils outside Planned Parenthood facilities in Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs.

The CSU Campus Feminist Alliance could not be reached in time for comment.

Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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