Steve Weatherbe says the Choose Life Victoria will hold a vigil outside a women's heath centre at Helmcken Road and Island Highway for 40 days.

Group vows 40 day vigil at women’s clinic

Small groups of people plan to hold prayer vigils at the intersection of Helmcken Road and Island Highway for the next 40 days.

Small groups of people plan to hold prayer vigils at the intersection of Helmcken Road and Island Highway for the next 40 days.

Members of Choose Life Victoria are hosting a vigil each day due to abortions performed at the Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic.

“We are praying for women and their unborn children,” said Steve Weatherbe, Choose Life Victoria president. “We are praying for women to change their minds and to keep their babies and deliver them.”

Members are standing outside a 30-metre buffer zone and praying in shifts during business hours of the clinic. “This is not a protest or  to scare anyone … it’s a prayer vigil,” Weatherbe said.

A clinic staff member indicated the women’s centre had never had protesters before. Staff declined to comment on the vigil.

At the start of the prayer vigil Wednesday morning, West Shore RCMP officers were on hand investigating vandalism in the clinic parking lot and on the sidewalk of Helmcken Road. The words “Pro Choice,” and “Everyday for Choice” were spraypainted on the sidewalk. The vandalism occurred sometime in the evening of Sept. 27 or early on Wednesday.

Although the Choose Life Victoria members say the vigil is to pray for support for the women, not all groups feel this way.

“I think the tactics they use are meant to intimidate women who have chosen to access a legal medical service, and that is harassment,” said Tara Paterson, spokesperson for the Victoria-based Reproductive Justice Organizing Coalition. “I am appalled it is going on for 40 days, but I am glad it is not everyday.”

Groups from Canada, the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia are taking part in 40 Days for Life Vigil from Sept. 28 to Nov. 6

“These vigils are being held in about 300 cities,” Weatherbe said explaining that the 40 days reference comes from the bible. “Christ spent 40 days in the wilderness.”

Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic offers a variety of women’s sexual health services, including abortion, IUDs and surgical completions after a miscarriage.

Paterson is organizing a counter rally called “rock for reproductive justice” on Oct. 22 at Centennial Square in Victoria in response to 40 Days for Life campaign.

“We hope to broaden the conversation to more than just abortion,” Paterson said. “Reproductive justice includes the right not to have children, the right to have children and the right to parent.”

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Just Posted

Man hit by vehicle while sitting on a curb near Our Place in Victoria

Emergency crews cleared the scene shortly before 11 a.m.

Tree downs lines on Highview Street in Victoria

Approximately 3,000 without power in the area

Electrical appliance failure likely caused apartment fire that killed one Saanich resident

Large parts of the Richmond Road apartment building remain uninhabitable following June 21 fire

‘Irresponsible’ cigarette tossing blamed for two brushfires on Pat Bay highway

Fires could have started from any of the “dozens” of discarded cigarettes, says chief

Artificial reef created off East Sooke

Divers are discovering plenty of new sea life

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Most Read