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Pro-lifers sing Christmas carols outside an Alexandria abortion facility

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Each Saturday — rain or shine, hot or cold — pro-lifers gather outside the Alexandria Women’s Health Center to pray for an end to abortion and offer assistance to women contemplating ending the life of their unborn babies. On the Saturday before Christmas, pro-lifers also spread cheer by singing Christmas carols to drivers and other passersby on Stevenson Avenue.

It’s the second year they’ve held the “Peace in the Womb Pro-life Christmas Caroling” event according to Richard Hayden, life director of the Mount Vernon Knights of Columbus Council. “It’s an easy way to introduce people to coming outside of an abortion clinic,” he said. “It’s more of a friendly environment and it opens up the opportunity for them to come back.”

Advent is a particularly poignant time of year for the pro-life movement. As the event flyer read, “In the Christmas story, hope enters the world through the birth of a child, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Join us as we share this Christmas hope where it’s needed most: the abortion facility right here in our community.”

Dozens of pro-lifers bundled up to join in the merriment Dec. 19, singing classics such as “Jingle Bells” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” A manger held the song booklets. Many wore Santa hats or Christmas sweaters. They held signs with messages such as “Choose Life” and “Pray to End Abortion.”

Having a pro-life presence outside the clinic makes a difference, said Hayden. For example, in late October, women from the Legion of Mary at Queen of Apostles Church in Alexandria were praying a rosary there when a man whose wife was scheduled to get an abortion approached them. The women were able to steer the couple, immigrants from the Middle East, to a pregnancy center and they then decided to keep their baby.

“We’ve kind of adopted the family,” said Hayden. “We’ve stayed in touch with them, we’ve supported them with food gift cards. We'll have a baby shower for them when she gets further along.”

Hayden is grateful to those who came to carol, especially his fellow Knights, and to those who regularly pray and sidewalk counsel outside the abortion clinic. “It’s just a blessing to be out here,” he said. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020

@ZoeyMaraistACH