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      Abortion debate rages outside Harlingen clinic

      F or 40 days a group of men and women will pray outside the Reproductive Services Clinic in Harlingen.

      I t i s part of the 40 Days for Life campaign, a religious movement to prevent more abortions.

      Catholic B ishop Daniel Flores lent his support to the campaign.

      " W e know what the law of the land is but we also know that God's grace can also help a person's heart to choose life and that's what we're praying for," he said, among the crowd that gathered outside the clinic.

      Bishop Flores encouraged other Valley faithful to join him.

      He said women considering an abortion need someone to reach out to.

      " S ometimes they face very difficult situations and very difficult choices and we want to be of service to make it possible to choose life , " he added.

      But Dr. Lester Minto said women need more than words.

      " E verybody's dropping the ball and then they blame us because the girls come to us for help , " he said.

      According to Minto, the clinic performs about 30 to 40 abortions on a weekly basis.

      H e claim ed his office often gets backlash , but said the blame should be placed elsewhere.

      " I f these people would be better parents to their daughters , i f they would teach their son's respect for women , he said. If they taught those values we wouldn't see the people here for abortions."

      M into also said that the clinic is there to help women even if they choose not to go through with the abortion.

      " I f they appear they don TM t want one , I often spend more time talking them out of an abortion that doing it , " he said.

      T he 40 days for Life campaign goes on until April 1.

      I n addition to Harlingen, groups are also rallying outside the McAllen clinic.