Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Abortion in the spotlight

Megan Cuilla, left, and Katharine Isserlis light candles during an  event sponsored by the Faith in Action Committee and Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest on Sunday. 
 (Liz Kishimoto / The Spokesman-Review)

The re-election of President Bush and a possible shift in the U.S. Supreme Court had different meanings for people who gathered at two events Sunday marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

At Fourth Memorial Church, 2000 N. Standard St., more than 300 people prayed for leaders to have the strength to reverse the ruling that legalized abortion, which was handed down on Jan. 22, 1973.

“We never solve human problems by breaking the law of God,” said Jim Anderson, director of Lifeline Ministries, which organized the event.

Meanwhile, about 25 people prayed for the continuation of abortion rights at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, 4330 W. Fort George Wright Drive.

C.J. Gribble, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest, told the gathering that with the start of Bush’s second term, Planned Parenthood is preparing for an overturn of Roe v. Wade.

“When abortion is illegal, women die,” Gribble said after the commemoration. “When we say we’re going to ban abortion in this country, what we need to be saying is we’re going to ban safe, legal abortion.”

About 2,000 abortions are performed each year at Planned Parenthood in Spokane, which is the only abortion provider in the easternmost counties of Washington or in North Idaho, Gribble said.

“All of us would like it to be safe, legal and rare,” Gribble said.

At Fourth Memorial Church, Anderson singled out rapper Eminem, Abercrombie and Fitch commercials, belly-button jewelry, music videos, sex-education curricula and the TV show “Desperate Housewives” as evidence of America’s unhealthy obsession with sex.

“Abortion is the end of the conveyor belt in a culture that worships sex,” Anderson said. “It’s the result of a culture worshipping a false god.”

After the event, participants silently walked five blocks down the closed westbound lanes of Indiana Avenue to Planned Parenthood, where they formed a half circle in front of Planned Parenthood’s parking lot. Pastors led quiet prayers for about 20 minutes.

Several young adults and teens at the march wore red tape over their mouths.

“We’re not angry – we just want there to be a voice,” said Lacey Davis, 20, after the march. “We want the unborn to be spoken for when they can’t speak for themselves.”