Anti-abortion vigil held outside West Ashley women’s clinic

The Most Rev. Bishop Robert Guglielmone of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston spoke against abortion on Friday during a prayer vigil at the entrance to the parking lot of the Charleston Women’s Medical Center in West Ashley.

The leader of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston spoke against abortion on Friday during a prayer vigil held adjacent to the grounds of a medical facility where the procedure is performed.

Bishop Robert Guglielmone called for fighting the evil of abortion by reaching out with love and compassion to those wrestling with the issue.

“There is always the power of redemption. It is only the power and love of God that will bring about any kind of change,” he said in an address to about 25 people gathered for the event.

Christians believe that human life begins at conception, Guglielmone said in an interview.

“When someone takes a human being’s life we feel that we have an obligation to speak up,” he said.

The vigil happened near the entrance to the parking lot of the Charleston Women’s Medical Center on Ashley River Road. It included prayer, singing, readings from the Bible and preaching. The event, which began at about 8:30 a.m. and lasted more than two hours, prompted an anonymous noise complaint. Organizers turned down the volume on their public address system at the request of police.

Some participants tried to offer an anti-abortion pamphlet to the occupants of cars as the vehicles entered the clinic parking lot. A facility staffer told the protesters that the driveway was off-limits for their activities.

The Rev. David Booman of St. Michael’s Church said there are 1 million abortions performed annually in the United States. Christians should unite in love to help poor, single mothers considering terminating their pregnancy, he said.

“This scourge could be over in the blink of an eye,” he said.

Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711