"Faith leaders" will be gathering next month for a "clinic blessing" — a blessing for an abortion clinic, that is — in Columbus, Ohio.
"Anti-abortion advocates do not have the monopoly on faith or God," the notice from Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio reads. "Many faith leaders and people of faith hold that accessing and providing abortions are good and godly decisions."
The title of the notice? "Holy Ground: Blessing the Sacred Space of Decision."
Also slated to attend the Nov. 9 "interfaith gathering" at the East Columbus Surgical Center is the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
What's on tap?
"During this clinic blessing, participants will gather with local faith leaders and guests to ask for God's blessing upon Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio's East Columbus Surgical facility, the abortion providers and staff, and all those who pass through the center," the notice adds.
The event also will feature interfaith blessings, prayers, and testimonies about receiving and providing abortion care, the notice also says, emphasizing that the "clinic blessing will create space for progressive voices of faith to speak boldly in support of comprehensive reproductive health care, especially abortion."
Oh, yeah — there's a reception afterward. Registration and photo IDs are required.
Has this kind of thing happened before?
Abortion clinic blessings have happened in the past — and at least once before in Ohio.
Three years ago this month, 15 Christian ministers and rabbis gathered outside the Preterm clinic in Cleveland to bless the abortion facility, which may have been the first event of its kind in Ohio.
“Bless this building. May its walls stand strong against the onslaught of shame thrown at it,” said the Very Rev. Tracey Lind of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. “May it be a beacon of hope for those who need its services.”
In January 2017, more than 20 faith leaders blessed a Planned Parenthood facility in Washington, D.C. “This confirms the sacredness of the work we do," Laura Meyers, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, said regarding the ceremony.
Well-known pro-choice proponent Dr. Willie Parker added, “I’ve been a Christian longer than I’ve been an abortion provider. Women have been made to think that this [clinic] is some evil place, where God is not," according to DCist, which noted his observation that people often respond to abortion by “cursing [women] for making sacred decisions. Our answer to the curse is to bless.”