Hundreds of white miniature crosses stand in the yard of St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church in Riverside, representing the number of abortions that occur daily in California.
For more than 20 years, St. Catherine church has displayed nearly 500 crosses in the yard during the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade.
Colleen Wilson served as a leader in the Respect Life ministry at the church for seven years and continues to bring awareness through the crosses.
“There are 800 abortions that occur daily in California, and when people hear the number 800, they assume that is the number of abortions per week or month and they are shocked to hear that it is 800 per day,” Wilson said.
Wilson added that the motivation for putting the crosses out in public is to give the community a visual of the number of abortions that occur daily.
“We want to bring the community an awareness of the big epidemic,” Wilson said. “We honor life because life is precious and is in God’s will.”
Sarah Laverne, junior childhood studies major, said the crosses serve as visual symbolization.
“People become quick in dismissing moralistic values in today’s day and age, which causes it to be easy to accept the world as it is,” Laverne said.
President Barack Obama released a statement Jan. 22 regarding the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
“We recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: That every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Obama said in the statement. “We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable healthcare and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom.”
Obama continued to say that he believes that the United States is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities.
Planned Parenthood supports protests as long as they are in a peaceful and law-abiding manner and do not prevent women from receiving access to treatments, said Jennifer Coburn, director of communications and marketing at Planned Parenthood.
Maggie Meyer, the current leader of Respect Life ministry at St. Catherine’s of Alexandria Catholic Church, said the church wants to raise awareness to the community.
“We want to give women and men the right information and to let them know of the alternative options they have,” Meyer said.
The Planned Parenthood website suggests patients at the clinic to avoid interaction with protesters that may be outside of the health center.
Kim Snow, a protester against abortion, occasionally stands outside with her children and friends as she brings awareness to abortions.
“It’s always a constant battle,” Snow said. “It’s not a race, it is a marathon.”
The Planned Parenthood website states, “There’s a lot we can and will disagree upon, but we should respect the real-life decisions women and their families face every day.”
St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church is located on Brockton Avenue, approximately 2.3 miles from California Baptist University.