One group continues to protest in front of the Supreme Court

It seemed almost anachronistic: four 20-somethings standing at the foot of the Supreme Court’s steps Friday, not fiddling with their cell phones or talking about Facebook, but instead praying for the Roe v. Wade decision protecting abortion rights to be overturned.

They shielded themselves from the sun with caps, sunglasses and an oversized umbrella, and stretched over their mouths was red tape inscribed with the word “LIFE,” to symbolize the unheard voices of fetuses. But their presence also symbolized something very different: a throwback to older forms of protest that have long surrounded the Supreme Court.

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These young activists’ organization, the Christian, anti-abortion-rights Bound 4 Life coalition, has been sending small contingents to the Supreme Court for roughly hourlong silent prayers Monday through Saturday since the 2004 presidential election, Executive Director Matt Lockett said. As a result, the group has turned itself into something of a foil to the rising tide of organizations that once staged physical protests against the Supreme Court — its nominees’ hearings, its decisions — but now rely more heavily on modern technology to spread their message.

While Bound 4 Life has a regularly updated website, it is limited primarily to collecting online donations. Meanwhile, anybody can get directly involved with the group by coming to the court to pray. Groups have traveled from all over the country to physically demonstrate their disapproval of the Roe v. Wade ruling, Lockett said. The organization also finances monthlong summer internships for young people interested in taking to the Supreme Court steps as well as learning how “prayer, policy and the government” can interact, Lockett said.

During a break from the silent protest last week, Locket said his group plans to protest Kagan’s upcoming nomination hearing but didn’t explain how. He couldn’t be reached for further comment before press time.

While Lockett acknowledged the power and convenience of the Web to distribute Bound 4 Life’s religious ideals on abortion, he says nothing is more potent than physically going somewhere and praying.

“Prayer is our activism,” Lockett said. “To us, it’s the highest form of activism.”