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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A failing Planned Parenthood branch plans to build a new abortion center just off of the interstate highway in Alabama, and pro-lifers are organizing to stop it.

Planned Parenthood Birmingham, currently located downtown, has struggled to meet health and safety standards for years. Sidewalk counselors outside that location say hardly any patients have come over the past year, and apparently none for abortions, raising questions about how the business is managing to stay afloat.

The Birmingham center has repeatedly opened and closed, and now appears to still be operating only thanks to support from the abortion company’s regional affiliate, Planned Parenthood Southeast.

Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood Southeast purchased undeveloped land at 1019 First Ave. N. for $430,600. That land is in the city’s Bessemer neighborhood.

A spokeswoman for the abortion company told “it is still in the very early stages,” but they hope to break ground on a new abortuary this year.

In 2014, Planned Parenthood Birmingham – at that time still committing abortions – was forced to shut down for 10 months after its employees were caught selling drugs in the parking lot. Over the years, its deficiencies documented by the state health department have included workers not washing their hands, poor records management, botched abortions, and failing to sterilize medical instruments.

The Department of Health put the facility on probation in 2012 after a Live Action sting revealed Planned Parenthood Birmingham’s willingness to “bend the rules a little bit” when it came to reporting statutory rape. The counselor told undercover Lila Rose to use an older sibling’s signature on parental consent forms.

Planned Parenthood’s willingness to cover up sex abuse and trafficking is under renewed scrutiny right now. Live Action is in the process of releasing its “Aiding Abusers” videos, which are compilations of past investigations and interviews with former abortion workers.

“A new building isn't going to make Planned Parenthood suddenly grow a conscience and start following the rules,” said Mary Ann Vann, a Birmingham pro-life activist who runs 40 Days for Life there. “The body of work following this facility is atrocious, affirmed every day by fewer and fewer clients going through their doors.”

“When people drive into our city, they can see Vulcan, Regions Field, Railroad Park – all old and new symbols of our great city,” said Father Terry Gensemer of CEC for Life. “Imagine a huge Planned Parenthood sitting front and center to all of that. Do we want abortion to become the first thing people see about Birmingham? I certainly don't.”

“Planned Parenthood holds itself out as a healthcare provider while deceiving citizens, harming women, and killing our children,” said Gensemer. “It's the only abortion clinic left in this city, and it's clearly struggling to find a clientele. People talk about safe spaces. With Planned Parenthood closed for good, Birmingham would become one of the largest and safest metropolitan areas in the country for mothers and children in the womb.”

“How beautiful would that be?” he asked. “Planned Parenthood has been unable to provide abortions for a year. Let's keep it that way.”

At 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, June 9, pastors, legislators, and pro-life activists are holding a “We Say No!” prayer vigil at the proposed new location.

Governor candidate Scott Dawson and state Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-43) will be there praying alongside Gensemer, Natalie Brumfield of Bound4Life, Cindy Harless from Abortion Recovery Alabama, and many others.

Jim and Joy Pinto, known for their EWTN show, will be there representing the pro-life center Her Choice Birmingham.