Hundreds of pro-life Catholics gathered to pray for an end to abortion Saturday outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Denver, Colorado, just weeks after the state legislature passed a radical new pro-abortion law.
Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila led the eucharistic procession, walking around the abortion facility three times as the crowd prayed Hail Marys for the unborn babies being killed inside, the Catholic News Agency reports. The event marked the end of the spring 40 Days for Life campaign.
“One of the most important things we can do as people of faith is to build a foundation of prayer under our efforts, so that God is the source of inspiration and strength for our outreach to mothers and their families,” Aquila told the crowd. “That is why we are here processing around Planned Parenthood with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Only he can help us love those in need and, at the same time, those who promote abortion.”
Just a few weeks earlier, Aquila testified against legislation that strips all rights and protections from unborn babies in Colorado. He told state lawmakers that a truly just government must protect the right to life of its most vulnerable citizens. However, the bill passed the Democrat-controlled state legislature, and Gov. Jared Polis signed it into law last week.
Despite the setback, Myra Bueno, who attends Holy Cross Parish in Thornton, told CNA that Christians must keep praying, including for pro-abortion lawmakers and abortion industry workers.
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“We came here to pray because there’s a lot of need for prayer,” Bueno said at the prayer rally Saturday. “We’re here to defend life, because we know that this is important: to defend the life of every child.”
Laura Acosta, who also participated in the rally, said she was dismayed to see the radical pro-abortion bill signed into law.
“This doesn’t only affect Catholics, but the whole world because this doesn’t only affect religion, but the dignity of the human person,” Acosta told the news outlet. “We hope in God that he can put an end to all of this and that we all can love and help each other like he wants us to.”
Aquila encouraged pro-life advocates to redouble their efforts to help abortion-minded mothers and fathers choose life for their children.
“There is already great work being done through the Marisol Health clinics, crisis pregnancy centers, support groups like Project Rachael and various parish-based ministries, but we have a long way to go in building a culture that welcomes life at every stage and in every condition,” he said, according to the report. “Supporters of [the new pro-abortion law] have said they want to make Colorado an abortion destination, so we must work to make it a safe haven for unborn children.”
State Democrat leaders crafted the legislation in response to the likelihood that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade later this year and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again. They also expressed anger that Texas has been allowed to enforce its heartbeat law, which protects unborn babies from abortions once their heartbeats are detectable and already has saved thousands of lives.
State Republican lawmakers fought against the pro-abortion legislation in record-long debates, but they did not have enough votes to block bill. Democrats control the Colorado legislature by a strong majority, and the bill easily passed both houses in March.
Colorado is very liberal politically, and pro-life advocates have had a difficult time passing any pro-life laws there. Even fetal homicide laws to punish criminals who kill unborn babies in situations unrelated to abortion have been rejected repeatedly by the state legislature.
It is one of the few states with no limits on abortions, and abortionists there openly advertise abortions in the third trimester. In 2020, state voters rejected a ballot measure that would have protected viable, pain-capable unborn babies by banning late-term abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy.