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Vigil Held At New Planned Parenthood Clinic


Colleen Slevin
AP Writer, Denver, CO


Denver (AP) - About 2,500 people circled the new Planned Parenthood clinic Monday night as part of a vigil organized by the Archdiocese of Denver.

A niece of the late Martin Luther King Jr., Alveda King, and Denver's Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput led the marchers in calling for an end to abortion and the closing of the clinic. Some of the marchers recited the rosary while others marched silently on sidewalks that had been previously chalked with anti-abortion messages.

Planned Parenthood provides a number of reproductive health and education services.

In a rally in a nearby park before the march, King said abortion shouldn't be a partisan issue, and she prayed that the waters of the "political sea" would be parted so opponents of abortion could reach the "promised land."

She praised Bishop Charles Blake, head of the predominantly black Church of God in Christ, for identifying himself as a "pro-life Democrat" at an interfaith gathering on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.

King said she doesn't plan to vote for Barack Obama unless he changes his position on abortion.

"But that's not impossible. It's not November yet," she said.

Denver radio host Dan Caplis criticized Ted Kennedy, who spoke Monday at the convention's opening night, for not opposing abortion. Before the crowd left for the march, he told them the U.S. Supreme Court was only one vote shy of being in a position of reversing Roe v. Wade.

"You are on the verge of saving lives for millions," Caplis said.

Marcher Dolores Bargas, 70, of Denver said she used to be a Democrat. She said if Catholics in the Democratic Party spoke out against abortion, they could change the party's platform.

Lou Koenig, a member of Democrats for Life from Cleveland who also attended the rally, said his group wants Obama to co-sponsor a bill that would help support pregnant women. He said focusing on Roe v. Wade isn't the answer because if the landmark case is overturned, large states such as New York and California would revert to their previous state laws, which allowed abortion.

"Our feeling is, if every women chose life it wouldn't matter what the law said," Koenig said.


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