Pro-Life Group Holds Protest At Planned Abortion Clinic in Casper

An estimated 150 people staged a rally Thursday in to show their opposition to a planned abortion clinic in Casper.

April 22, 20224 min read

Abortion protest 1 4 21 22 scaled
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

An estimated 150 people staged a rally Thursday in to show their opposition to a planned abortion clinic in Casper.

Most in the crowd outside of the clinic in downtown Casper told Cowboy State Daily they were attending the rally to voice their opposition to abortion.

Former Natrona County legislator Bob Brechtel, who was a vocal opponent of abortion as a member of Wyoming’s House of Representatives, said the gathering was called so people could “peacefully pray.”

“We are for standing for human life, from natural conception to natural death,” Brechtel said.

Another attendee, Ross Schriftman, who moved from Philadelphia to Casper last year, said he was a member of the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation. He said he had a conversion “from being ambivalent about abortion to being very pro-life.”

“I’m reminded of my mother’s story,” he said without explaining what the story was about. “There are 19 people alive today because of her love and her commitment to her child.”

The new clinic between downtown Casper and the Wyoming Medical Center will be operated by Circle of Hope Health Care Services, which is incorporated in Washington, D.C., and headed up by founder Julie Burkhart, who is based in Colorado.

The clinic is funded by private donors and has been created and supported by a community advisory board of 15 people, Burkhart said, including faith leaders, tribal communities and health care advocates.

Thursday evening’s vigil is not expected to be a one-time event. Sheila Leach, president of the Park County chapter of Right to Life of Wyoming, said there will be 40 concurrent days of like protests noting that these are expected to be low-key and respectful.

“The purpose is to pray for the babies, the mother and the father and for the staff at the clinic,” Leach said. “And it’s always peaceful.”

The peaceful nature of the protest was something attendee John Perry told Cowboy State Daily was important.

“I’m here to pray for the unborn, and pray for the dignity of life,” Perry said. “I think the right to life is a primary and foundational right, and I believe in the dignity of all people, born and unborn.”

Others, like Rita Louis, said she was there to send a message that an abortion clinic was not something that should be located in Wyoming, let alone Casper.

Abortion Support

Although pro-life groups may oppose the clinic, groups supporting women’s access to reproductive health care are welcoming it.

Christine Lichtenfels, founder of Chelsea’s Fund, which supports Wyoming women’s access to abortion health care, told Cowboy State Daily that the clinic will allow Wyoming residents more access to the health care they need.

She noted that the clinic will do more than just provide abortions, it will also offer all types of reproductive care.

Lichtenfels said that people get abortions for various difficult reasons, such as abusive relationships or the inability to care for another child, but it is also their choice and right to do so.

“I am not going to accept the position that Wyoming is historically, staunchly anti-abortion,” she said. “U.S. Sen. Al Simpson was much more reflective of the true libertarian approach of Wyoming, where the government does not belong in telling people what to do in their individual lives.”

Share this article