Next Sunday, April 9, will be the last of a 40-day silent protest against abortion in Terrace and worldwide.
More than 70 residents have taken part, holding signs and praying by the bus stop across from the main entrance to Mills Memorial Hospital every morning from 6 to 8 a.m. as well as at scattered times throughout the days of the campaign.
Known as ‘40 days for life‘ the movement started in 2004 in the Brazos Valley in Texas, and now takes place in 340 cities worldwide from March 1 to April 9.
Carol Woollacott is organizing the vigil in Terrace this year and says it’s because she feels she has to do something.
“I wanted to do something that I believed would make a difference,” she said, adding that she got involved when she was forced to face the issue of abortion two years ago.
“It was the very first time I really faced the enormity of the killing of babies,” she said. “It’s terrible and I had to do something.”
What prompted her change was a series of undercover videos asserting that Planned Parenthood, a family planning nonprofit organization in the U.S., was doing abortions strategically in order to harvest and sell fetal tissue.
Those videos were released online in 2015 by citizen journalist David Daleiden from the Center for Medical Progress, an American non-profit group he formed that is focused on medical ethics.
The videos prompted several investigations which have dismissed the claims, and Daleiden now faces charges from the state of California for recording people without consent and conspiracy to unlawfully record — charges which he disputes.
For Woollacott in Terrace, seeing those videos changed everything.
“I’ve always been pro-life before that, but I was passive pro-life,” she said, referring to the stance that abortion kills a baby.
“But when I heard about the David Daleiden videos, and when I saw the women talking about how they would crush a baby and save its vital organs so they could sell it… I just realized it was such a horrible, horrible thing that was happening,” she said.
“And I needed to do something.”
The 40-days for life campaign wraps up April 9 with a volunteer potluck.