The Rev. Bill Carmody is perhaps the most dedicated faith leader in Colorado Springs when it comes to demonstrating against abortion. In Sunday’s Gazette newspaper, I write about how he will continue to lead prayer gatherings at Planned Parenthood’s new location on Centennial Boulevard. The clinic performs abortions and provides contraceptives.
Carmody is director of the Respect Life Office in the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs.
Planned Parenthood’s new building makes it difficult for pro-life demonstrators, because it sits deep within private property. Legally, demonstrators must be about 300 feet away on Centennial Boulevard.
Below is an edited excerpt of my interview with Carmody.
BARNA: Might you engage in civil disobedience at the new location, given how far away you are from the Planned Parenthood building?
CARMODY: I’ve made a commitment to the bishop not do anything illegal. We are going to follow the law. I will go to the line, but not cross it.
BARNA: You’ve been demonstrating outside Planned Parenthood on West Colorado Avenue since 1993. Are you burned out?
CARMODY:No. It’s a prayer, not a protest. When its a protest, people burn out. This is prayer, respectful. You have got to love them. If you don’t, (people coming for abortions) get defensive. We have to love them first.
Carmody has his supporters, such as Jeff Maschler, who attends Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church in Black Forest. He often joins Carmody’s prayer gatherings outside Planned Parenthood.
Maschler is not fazed by the distance between clinic and demonstrator at the new location. He says, half-jokingly, that he may bring a bull horn to the gatherings.
“I will do everything in my power to be a visible supporter of life and be an example to my family and friends,” he told me.