Catholic Priest Builds Chapel Next To Warr Acres Abortion Clinic
WARR ACRES, Oklahoma - A Roman Catholic priest, on a mission to end abortion, is gaining some attention as he builds a prayer chapel right next to an abortion clinic.
The future chapel is only the second of its kind in the United States, and it's being built in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. No one is quite sure how the hot-button issue will pan out, but the priest is hoping the chapel's presence, just 20 feet from the clinic, will force the abortion center out of business.
It is common to see pro-life advocates outside on the streets. Now, they are setting up shop just one door down from Outpatient Services for Women at 6112 N.W. 63rd Street in Warr Acres.
"We're not going to get in their face and not going to be hostile or rude," said Rev. M. Price Oswalt. "We'll just be peaceful."
The chapel is still under construction. Oswalt is the man behind the plan.
"Our goal is to have someone in here praying 24/7," Oswalt said.
In order to get to the abortion clinic, you have to drive past the chapel, which will soon have a sign welcoming women. Oswalt hopes the chapel will offer one last chance for women to ask God for guidance and learn about other options.
"It's not our goal to go chasing after business because this isn't a business, this is a ministry," Lorryn McGarry with Holy Innocence Foundation of Oklahoma said.
Many pro-choice advocates do not support the ministry's operation.
"I think that it makes [women] feel guilty when they shouldn't feel guilty," mother Lyndsie England said
Others believe the religious presence will not have much of an impact.
"If you already made the choice to go [to an abortion clinic], a church isn't [going to] change your mind much," pro-choice advocate Brie Miller said.
But, critics are not holding Oswalt back. The doctor at the clinic would not go on camera but told News 9, "Let them build their chapel."
Oswalt says it is highly probable people will protest their protest, but insists the Catholics and their supporters will stay peaceful. Oswalt says most of the Oklahoma's 140 abortions per week are performed at the Warr Acres clinic. Various pro-choice organizations, including Planned Parenthood, would not give comment to News 9 for this story.
Although the chapel did receive Archbishop Paul Coakley's blessing, the chapel is not owned by the Archdioceses of Oklahoma City. It is being funded through private donations.