Clergy gathered this week to bless an abortion clinic in Texas, burning sage in patient rooms and praying for the well-being of the staff, media outlets reported.
The group of a dozen Christian and Jewish leaders joined hands to pray during a blessing ceremony Tuesday at Whole Woman’s Health in Austin, the Huffington Post reported. The clergy and employees also walked through the building along the path of a typical abortion patient, according to the news site.
The blessing was spearheaded by the Texas Freedom Network and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, organizers said in a Facebook post about the ceremony, which used the hashtag #ThisClinicIsBlessed.
Rev. Katey Zeh, the interim executive of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice who participated in the blessing, wrote an op-ed for Religious News Service after the ceremony. Zeh wrote that the abortion clinic is a blessed space because providing reproductive health care “has always been sacred work.”
“It signals to abortion foes that progressive people of faith are defending reproductive health, rights and justice and honoring the reproductive decisions of those who receive abortion care,” Zeh said in the op-ed. “To the many who see abortion as a gray area, it demonstrates that spiritual and religious people can also respect and affirm the right to choose as a moral good.”
Whole Woman’s Heath clinic recently moved to the building after losing its lease at another facility in Austin because a pro-life group offered a higher amount to rent the property, according to the Austin Chronicle.