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Archbishop joins pro-life protest

Vigneron leads a Rosary. (click for larger version)
November 03, 2010 - As the local 40 Days for Life abortion protest came to a close, hundreds gathered on Sashabaw Road to pray with Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, Oct. 30.

"It's great of him to come here and support us," said Debbie Riccardo, local organizer. "It's important we support him. Abortion is murder. He reminds us of that."

The crowd included local church-goers, Everest Collegiate High School students, Knights of Columbus, Dominican nuns, and others.

"I'm here to pray for the end of abortion," said John Walker of Oxford.

"I'm here to support the movement and see the bishop," said Michelle Coyle, who participated in the prayer vigil in front of the Sashabaw Road abortion clinic every week.

"I want to help save the babies," said Anna Coyle, Michelle's daughter.

Michelle Schmidt, executive director of Mother and Unborn Baby Care of Greater Detroit, said she appreciated Vigneron's support.

"I'm so grateful to the archbishop for his very strong leadership," she said. "I'm thrilled to see how many are here."

The 40 Days movement and Mother and Unborn Baby Care offer help to pregnant women in trouble, she said.

"I had an abortion when I was 18, and no one was on the sidewalk for me," she said. "I want to be here for someone else reach out to people in this situation."

She also prays for an end to abortion.

"It's an act of violence," she said. "If the choice is between deliberate destruction of an unborn child in the womb, then I'm anti choice.

Vigneron led a Rosary and provided words of encouragement.

"They're the ones on the front lines," he said. "My job is to help sustain them."

The Family Care Clinic Gynecology and Family Planning, which opened this past summer, did not respond to calls for comment.

"It's still open," Riccardo said. "If it doesn't end, we'll come back next year."

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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