Alabama pastors protest new abortion center, built in defiance of upcoming ban
MONTGOMERY, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of Birmingham, Alabama pastors made clear their opposition to a new Planned Parenthood facility in Birmingham Wednesday, speaking outside the Alabama State House to unveil the pro-life Birmingham Proclamation.
Planned Parenthood Southeast is currently constructing a new 10,000-square-foot location in Birmingham it hopes to open by the end of the year, to replace an older facility in the city. Alabama is down to three abortion centers in the state. Going ahead with the project has been seen as an act of defiance against the state’s ban on nearly all abortions, which will take effect in November unless blocked by a lawsuit.
Signed by over 100 ministers from multiple Christian denominations, the Birmingham Proclamation “expresses clear opposition to the expansion of abortion in the state,” “calls for unity among churches and encourages the Christian community to continue being a refuge for the preborn and their mothers and fathers,” and “addresses Planned Parenthood’s targeting of the African American community,” according to a press release from the Metro Birmingham Life Forum.
“As shepherds of our city, we the pastors and clergy of Birmingham, Alabama, cannot remain silent in the face of such evil,” the proclamation reads. “Birmingham is where we make our stand. Abortion is not welcome here. Planned Parenthood is not welcome here. We declare this city a sanctuary for preborn children and for their mothers and fathers, and will work in prayer and unity to keep it abortion-free.”
The document goes on to call for recognition and protection of the sanctity of life, for support for women tempted by abortion, and for forgiveness and healing for women who have committed abortion.
“It’s life, from the conception all the way to when the Lord calls somebody home, that is our commitment, is to life,” Rev. Harry Reeder III of Briarwood Presbyterian Church said at the State House, AL.com reports. “And that’s why we do not want to see this abortion clinic opening up in Birmingham.”
At the event, Terry Gensemer of the Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life read a statement of support from Republican Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, which declared, “Abortion is murder. Those three simple words sum up my position on an issue that many falsely claim is a complex one.”
The pro-life pastors said they intend to deliver the document to the offices of several state leaders including Ainsworth, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, and Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall, as well as to the state Department of Public Health, which is responsible for abortion facility licensing.
“State and city officials should take note of the unity, dedication and determination exhibited by these courageous pastoral leaders,” Gensemer said. “The people of Birmingham do not want Planned Parenthood operating in our city. Instead, we desire to see Birmingham become a national leader in protecting and upholding the sanctity of all life, every life.”