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Politics / Issues
What you need to know about the 2020 elections across the greater Tampa Bay region.

Abortion Prayer Vigils Held In Florida Ahead Of Election Day

Three people standing on a sidewalk holding pro-life signs.
Jane Lupia
On Wednesday, the international 40 Days for Life campaign kicked off across Florida. Here are three people holding pro-life signs outside of a Clearwater abortion center.

Protests outside abortion clinics are nothing new, but a pro-life campaign launched Wednesday in the greater Tampa Bay region says it hopes to end abortion through peaceful prayer.

Abortion centers in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Sarasota will see daylong prayer vigils outside their facilities the next month and a half through Nov. 1.

Click here to view all the event locations.

Organizers say it’s no coincidence the international 40 Days for Life campaign wraps up two days before the presidential election.

Sabrina Burton Schultz of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, however, said this is not a protest.

"There may be a time and a place to protest abortion or abortion laws, but it's not there in front of abortion centers,” said Burton Schultz. “We're there really to be the face of Christ. If you drive by, you'll see that almost all of our signs are very oriented to help."

And like traditional protests, she said participants in this campaign will offer clinic visitors information about abortion alternatives.

This event was planned before last week's death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who consistently supported reproductive rights on many closely divided abortion case rulings.

Burton Schultz said Ginsberg will be "a very hard act to replace" given her work for the oppressed, but hopes the next justice is pro-life.

"We're hoping for a justice who would want protect women and and bring an end to abortion in our country, but also someone who would be protecting other oppressed groups in our country as well,” she said. “And really look at the full breadth of the human person and human dignity."