An end to Prayerful Presence, for the best reason

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Mary Clare Mulhern, Staff Writer

 

Members of the Dallas-Fort Worth community prayed together with UD students for an end to abortion. –Photo by Rebecca Rosen
Members of the Dallas-Fort Worth community prayed together with UD students for an end to abortion.
–Photo by Rebecca Rosen

Two times a year, Crusaders for Life (CFL) hosts its 100s Day event, during which the club gathers as many people as possible outside of Abortion Advantage, a local abortion clinic, to join in peaceful prayer.

This past 100s Day, attended by 100 University of Dallas students and faculty, Saturday, Oct. 26, was particularly important because the Abortion Advantage clinic run by Dr. Lamar Robinson, M.D., P.A. OB/GYN, was scheduled to close Tuesday, Oct. 29 due to House Bill 2 (HB2), a pro-life piece of legislation passed this summer in Austin, Tx.

There are four parts to the bill, the most important being the requirement for an abortion clinic to have hospital-admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic’s location. Since Robinson did not have the privilege to check patients into a hospital within 30 miles, Abortion Advantage could not stay open.

Planned Parenthood contested that this part of the bill was unconstitutional, however, and federal district judge Lee Yeakel ruled in their favor on Monday, Oct. 28, so the clinic did not close on Tuesday as planned. The Office of the Attorney General appealed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which stayed Yeakel’s decision and put into effect the 30-mile rule, closing Robinson’s clinic on Friday, Nov. 1.

Ivanna Bond, senior and president of Crusaders for Life, was elated.

“It’s such a blessing that Robinson’s clinic has closed … I think anyone who has ever gone out there to pray knows how horrific it feels just to be outside it, and they should all be very happy to see their prayers have worked. God is so good!” she said.

Though 100s Day attracted a larger than usual group of participants to pray outside the abortion clinic, UD students and faculty have been participating in Prayerful Presence outside of the clinic almost every Saturday during the school year for several years. The students who have been trained as sidewalk counselors approach women who are entering the clinic to talk to them about Birth Choice, a clinic across the street that offers free sonograms, counseling and assistance to pregnant women. Everyone else stands across the street and prays together.

Although 100s Day was not directly responsible for the close of the clinic, club members think that it was a great witness to have so many people outside of the clinic the weekend before it closed. It was a strong finish to the club’s long dedication to praying outside of Abortion Advantage.

Allie Cohill, senior and chair of the UD College Republicans and member of CFL, said that although this is a great victory, there is more work to be done.

“We need to continue to witness not only to the dignity of life, but also the harmfulness of the contraceptive mentality,” said Cohill.

What is the future for CFL now that the clinic has closed?

“We are providing students with education on pro-life topics, service opportunities, donation projects and trips to the Dallas and Austin Marches for Life in the spring,” said Bond.

 

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