BOULDER, CO, January 9, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The death of an elk in Boulder, Colorado, has captured national headlines after hundreds of residents attended a candlelight vigil for the animal this past Sunday.

The elk was reportedly shot after he wandered into a residential neighborhood, where he had frequently been seen before. The police officer who shot the animal has said that he thought the elk was injured. He has been placed on paid leave while an investigation is completed.

But pro-life activists are pointing out that while Boulder residents mourn the death of the elk, innocent unborn human children are being killed right in their midst at one of the country’s most notorious late-term abortion facilities.

Dr. Warren Hern, one of the last abortionists willing to perform very late-term abortions in the United States, runs his business out of Boulder.

Hern wrote the first medical textbook on abortion procedures after the Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in the U.S. He has also written published works in which he describes the human race as a “malignant eco-tumor” destroying the earth, and has described pro-life activists as “terrorists.”

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Jennifer Mason of Personhood USA, which is headquartered in Colorado, says she understands the Boulder community’s concern for wildlife. At the same time, she said, after hearing about the outpouring of sympathy for the elk her thoughts immediately went to Dr. Hern’s abortion clinic.

“The first thing that came to mind of course was, ‘Why would they hold a vigil for an animal and deem the animal’s life so much more valuable than these babies in the womb?’” Mason told Christiannews.net.

“Even currently, it’s legal to abort babies in the womb minutes from delivery,” she said, “and human life is valued so little compared to this animal that they have memorialized in Boulder. It’s really a sad fact.”

Mason cited the Aurora and Columbine shootings, saying, “I think there’s an epidemic of violence here in Colorado, and it certainly extends to the abortion clinics. There’s definitely a devaluing of human life here, and that’s something that we have to face all the time.”

However, the unborn children killed by Hern have not gone completely unmourned in Boulder. In 2005, a Catholic parish in town earned the ire of the abortionist for giving a Christian burial to the babies he aborts.

That church, Sacred Heart of Mary, has been burying the cremated remains of aborted babies since 1998. A local mortuary collects and cremates the remains and the church buries them in front of a red granite memorial wall on which can be found notes from grieved mothers saying, “My beautiful baby, I’m sorry.”