1,101 crosses silently spread over Auburn-area protest Abortion

Planned Parenthood says abortion is women's health issue
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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A local Knights of Columbus group is hoping 1,101 wooden crosses spread throughout Auburn will make people think about outlawing abortion. The 32-inch high white wooden crosses represent the number of abortions performed in the U.S. each day. Members of the Knights of Columbus at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Auburn say the demonstration is meant to educate people, not make them feel bad about abortion. Planned Parenthood Mar Monte representatives say women need access to safe abortions and preventative healthcare. Bill Kavanagh, A Knights of Columbus Member, of Auburn said the group tried to put 140 crosses at each location to symbolize that over 140 legal abortions are performed every hour, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. “I’m not one that is going to stand on the side of the road with pictures of fetuses, but on the other hand if I can transmit the facts and statistics and just give them a little cold water in their face to wake up — this what is going on in your country, society and it is part of the problem with our mode of thinking in our society,” Kavanagh said. Kavanagh said he believe each fetus has the potential to do something great if brought to full-term. He said one story he heard, that Denver Bronco’s football player phenomenon Tim Tebow’s mom refused to get an abortion at a doctor’s recommendation, inspires him even more to want to overturn the court ruling legalizing abortion, Roe v. Wade. The court ruling’s 39th anniversary was Saturday. “Every time there is a potential Tim Tebow. There is a potential person that could come up with penicillin,” Kavanagh said. “Over 53 million babies have been aborted in the past 39 years since Roe v. Wade. That’s a genocide way beyond the Holocaust.” The crosses were placed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Auburn, Sisters of Mercy convent on Sacramento Street in Auburn, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Auburn Ravine Road in Auburn, on property on Highway 193 about two miles out from Newcastle and on property on the corner of Newcastle and Auburn Folsom roads. Kavanagh said Father Mike Carroll at St. Theresa’s Church in Auburn would not allow the crosses to be placed in front of the church. The Journal was told by staff at St. Theresa’s Church in Auburn that Father Mike Carroll had the day off. A message was left on his cell phone, but as of press time he had not returned the call. Tim Schott, of Meadow Vista, also a Knights of Columbus member, said he wants to place the crosses because he is pro-life. On Friday, he and a group of six were placing them around Foresthill. “We want to make people aware of how many abortions there are in the U.S.,” Schott said. “We’re pro-life.” Raquel Simental, public affairs director for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, which covers the Sacramento and Foothills Region, said making abortion illegal will put women’s health at risk. “We support, of course, and celebrate another year of Roe v. Wade that we believe was important for women’s health and insure that women have access to safe, legal abortion,” Simental said. “When we prohibit access to abortion, women are harmed because by preventing access or limiting access to abortion, we know and we have seen that when we make it illegal women die.” Simental said Planned Parenthood has done more to prevent abortion than protestors by providing preventative care, such as birth control and condoms. “We believe abortion should remain legal, accessible and safe, but we do much more to prevent abortion than do others who are using the tactic of shaming women to prevent abortion,” Simental said. Simental said telling people not to have sex or not to have an abortion is an over-simplistic approach. Especially in rural areas like Auburn, she said, it is important women have access to preventative measures and young men are educated about using condoms. Kavanagh said all things considered he just wants to educate people. “At this point in time I am really just trying to educate people,” Kavanagh said. “I think there is a vast majority of people that don’t think about it.” Reach Sara Seyydin at