Published April 12, 2012
A prayer campaign launched by a California Planned Parenthood affiliate has angered pro-life groups who claim the counter-campaign mocks their own "40 Days for Life" effort.
Officials at Six Rivers Planned Parenthood (SRPP) in Eureka, Calif., launched "40 Days of Prayer" last month and has offered up daily prayers for pregnant women and clinicians who perform abortions.
"Today we pray for women for whom pregnancy is not good news, that they know they have choices," read the prayer for Day 1.
Day 18 offers prayers for "staff at abortion clinics around the nation," while Day 38 calls for a "cloud of gentleness to surround" every abortion facility in the country.
The campaign, according to Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based pro-life litigation group, is another "desperate attempt" to regain positive public attention and funding by mimicking a pro-life campaign.
"Planned Parenthood's prayer crusade is an attempt to mock and marginalize the highly effective '40 Days for Life,' which has unified half a million voices for the cause and saved at least 5,838 lives," the organization said in a statement. "As a direct result of this prayer event, 22 abortion clinics have closed and 69 doctors have stopped performing abortion."
SRPP officials referred inquiries to Faith Aloud, a St. Louis-based religious organization that composed the prayers. Rev. Rebecca Turner, Faith Aloud's executive director, told FoxNews.com that the prayers were written four years ago, but this is believed to be the first time they've been used by a Planned Parenthood affiliate. She denied allegations that they are meant to mock the "40 Days for Life" campaign.
"In no way is it a mockery of anything because we take prayer very seriously," Turner said Friday. "And I take women's concerns very seriously. These prayers, all of them, are very specific to women and not all of them are about abortion. In fact, very few of them are."
Turner continued: "Everyone, in any situation, can turn to God and pray. A pregnancy is not an exception to that."
Liberty Counsel founder Matthew Staver was blunt in his assessment of a campaign featuring prayers for those involved in abortions.
"Planned Parenthood's 'prayer' campaign is offensive," Staver said.