Abortion opponents begin 40-day protest near Planned Parenthood

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It may not have looked or sounded like it, but there was a protest on Shands Drive on Thursday.

Women raised their voices only to pray in front of Planned Parenthood.

"It's a prayerful witness, it's not supposed to be loud and confrontational," said Dede Rogowski of St. Andrew Catholic Church.

They're part of an international movement, praying to end abortion.

"We're just a presence to bring awareness to the issue of abortion and to pray," Stefanie Brunner said.

For 40 days, the quiet protest will continue. Different people may be at 205 Shands Drive, others will fast and pray from home. But, the women say they have faith that, with prayer, a difference can be made.

"I think with our prayers, I think he hears and answers them in His time," Pat Adams said.

"The protest activity while it is quieter is certainly preferable to the loud and disruptive protest, but from our perspective, no patient should have to risk their privacy or their well-being or have to risk harassment or intimidation when they're just trying to get their health care," said Rochelle Tafolla of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, in a phone interview Thursday.

Organizers say 40 Days forLlife campaign is a peaceful protest designed to show local communities the consequences of abortion.

The group says the 40-day period follows Biblical history where God used 40 days to transform communities.

"We are just trying to raise awareness that abortion takes a living person's life and even though we may not know the results of what we're doing, we're just doing what God is calling us to do," Rogowski said.

"We are truly the organization that is providing the prevention so that there isn't a need for abortion, so when folks are protesting us, they actually should be supporting the work that we're doing to help women avoid an unintended pregnancy," Tafolla said.

"Our job is just to stand and pray and hopefully hearts will be converted," Adams said.

Rosary beads in-hand, they say they're sending a message of love, rather than hate and praying to save the unborn.

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