Prayers urged for woman injured outside Louisville abortion clinic

Individuals prayed outside the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in this 2017 file photo during a 40 Days for Life vigil. Donna Durning, left, was recently injured outside the clinic. (Record File Photo)

By Marnie McAllister, Record Editor

The Archdiocese of Louisville’s pro-life coordinator is urging the community to pray for Donna Durning, an advocate for life who was injured April 12 outside the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in downtown Louisville.

Ed Harpring, the coordinator, said Durning has served as a “sidewalk counselor” — offering resources to women outside the clinic that provides abortion services — for more than 20 years.

“Right now we are praying for Donna’s healing and praying that this event will eventually lead to Kentucky being an abortion-free state,” said Harpring.

On the afternoon of April 12 at about 4 p.m., Harpring said Durning handed a resource card — offering counseling and other services — to a woman leaving the clinic. Harpring said Durning was knocked to the ground and suffered a head wound and a broken thigh bone.

At the time, Durning was accompanying parishioners from her parish, Holy Spirit Church, who were taking part in the 40 Days for Life vigil outside the clinic.

Harpring said Durning is recovering at Nazareth Home.

“Donna is in great spirits. I don’t know how she handles it so well. She says, ‘I’ll be fine’ — upbeat and a smile on her face. A lot of us would be angry. That’s just her,” Harpring said.

“Anybody who can be out there everyday must have some extraordinary grace to have that kind of attitude,” he added. “She sees the big picture of what pro-life is really about.

“We want the fathers and mothers to have a change of heart — that’s why we give them literature on the way in. But on the flip side on their way out, we’re not there to condemn them, we’re letting them know there are healing resources as well. That’s what Donna was trying to do.”

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