PHOTOS: Vigil seeks to put an end to abortion

— Janet Knudson didn’t want to get in anyone’s face, she made clear. But she did want to get her message across.

The message from the members of the Respect Life Committee, affiliated with the San Marco Catholic Church, was simple: stop abortion. They rallied along Collier Boulevard between Walgreen’s and the Esplanade from noon to 1 p.m., holding signs with messages including “Abortion stops a beating heart,” “Life is Precious,” and “Face it: abortion kills a person.”

Knudson, one of the primary organizers of the event, said beforehand they hoped to bring out at least 50 supporters, but a count along the group’s designated area for their vigil showed 16, including both sides of the road.

October is Respect Life Month, she said, and the group stood or sat along the road, doing their part to put the issue of abortion on the front burner. Their signs were preprinted, ordered, said Knudson, from a pro-life catalog.

John Patton, holding a sign that read “Defund Planned Parenthood,” said that he’s a retired ob/gyn, and no, he had never performed abortions. “I don’t kill anybody.” There are no circumstances, he said, in which abortion is appropriate. “It’s murder. Taking human life is evil.”

Nancy Fine’s sign read “Adoption – the Love Option.” She said no, she had not adopted any children, but she herself was adopted.

“I thank God there was no Planned Parenthood back then. I’m grateful my mother didn’t have option,” she said. None of several others carrying the identical sign had themselves adopted, but Janet Knudson said her son and his wife had adopted a child.

Linda Goebel didn’t hold a sign at all, but instead raised her hand high overhead, dangling a rosary, a string of beads with a crucifix, while reciting the prayer also called the rosary in a low voice. “This is the stairway to heaven,” she said.

Knudson said again and again “we try to be respectful,” and stressed her group’s signs had no graphic or grisly images. Why did she come stand in the sun on a hot afternoon?

“I started seeing a huge disconnect in the way our society looks at life,” she said. “We have laws protecting nesting turtles, protecting shorebirds. We have no laws protecting a growing child in a mother’s womb.”

Knudson had with her a five page typed statement from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston on Respect Life Month. It argued against not just abortion, but also contraception.

“Again and again, studies show that increasing access to contraception fails to reduce unplanned pregnancies and abortions,” said DiNardo in the document.

Bill Christ, another organizer of the Marco group, said he considers women’s rights a cornerstone of society. “Abortion is completely separate,” he said. “One has nothing to do with the other.” He did, however, make the point there are 12 to 27 million people in slavery today in the world.

Most motorists drove by without acknowledging the picketers, but a few beeped their horns. Knudson said they had one negative response, “but I don’t think you can print it. It was the F word,” she said. Her group, said Knudson, has no additional demonstrations planned.

© 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 1

an0nymou5 writes:

I think the crowd being preached to is a little too old for this to be pertinent. However, there would not be much use in driving all the way up to Naples, people tend to decide for themselves what to do with their bodies. It's nice to see people practicing rights nonetheless! Protest is a beautiful thing.
I wish to say a piece for sustainability. IMHO, abstinence and safe sex trump the importance of an anti-abortion message. To protect the future of the planet and our species it is critical that we populate responsibly by reducing the amount of children born to unfit parents, those who may go hungry and the like. The world is dangerously overpopulated by humans. It would be in best interest for the survival of all for those who are unable to support children, not to have them - for a longitudinal advantage for mankind and Mother Earth.
Speak your mind everyday people, everyone's thoughts are of value.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.