In the largest anti-abortion protest held in Houston in years, several thousand people on Monday marched, prayed and kept silent.
The protesters scrawled the word “life” on red tape across their mouths to convey their opposition to what they called an “abortion super center” that Planned Parenthood will open in a six-story building on the Gulf Freeway in March.
Planned Parenthood responded to charges about its location in a written statement.
"Planned Parenthood chooses locations based on the greater community's need for our services and there is great demand in the Houston area. More than 1 million residents in Harris County lack health insurance and half are of reproductive age. Clients come to our health centers from all over Harris County, not just the neighborhoods near our facility.
"Women need to have a voice in what happens to their own bodies, which is why abortion remains legal right now," the statement reads.
Houston, TX (LifeNews.comwww.lifenews.com/state4718.html) -- Momentum is building for the protest of a new Planned Parenthood abortion center in Houston, Texas. The abortion business is set to open its largest abortion facility in the nation -- a 78,000 square foot behemoth that will house its regional headquarters and do second-trimester abortions.
"The six-story, 78,000 square foot building will include a surgical floor equipped to provide late-term abortions," the group says. "Planned Parenthood continues to target low-income, minority families and has strategically located the new clinic in the middle of Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods and directly across the street from the University of Houston."
But thousands of pro-life advocates from across the country demonstrated in Houston Monday, saying the site's location unfairly targets minorities because it is located in southeast Houston in a predominantly African American and Hispanic community.
Ann Hettinger, Texas state director for Concerned Women for America, told LifeNews.com today that, to her knowledge, the new abortion center will only be eclipsed in size by one in China.
"CWA of Texas has a dream that all children will be safe in their mother's womb, regardless of race, defect or profit," Hettinger said. "We will not stand back and watch a modern-day death chamber redefine the Houston skyline."
Lou Engle, founder of The Call to Conscience, and organizer of the protest, says he hopes thousands of Texans will turn up to protest the new "abortion super center."
Wendy Wright, the president of CWA, urged pro-life advocates to attend.
"Planned Parenthood tries to deny its long-held goal to target minorities for abortion," she said.
"This mega-abortion mill exposes the true motivations of Planned Parenthood and their supporters. It is centered smack in the middle of minority neighborhoods with one floor set aside for late-term abortions. The message: once a pregnant woman walks through those doors, no unborn child -- no matter how old -- is safe," she added.
As expected, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) removed the Pro-Life language in the Senate version. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) attempted to reinstate the Stupak-Pitts language but was rebuffed by fellow Democrats. Pro-Lifers held out hope because the Senate bill would need 60 votes to pass and Senator Nelson was vote number 60. We expected that in exchange for his vote, he would require that the Pro-Life language was included to ensure that taxpayer funds would not be used to subsidize abortions nationwide. In an unexpected turn of events, Senator Nelson caved to pro-abortion demands and allowed the bill to continue to fund abortions in exchange for several pork barrel promises for his own state. The Senate bill then passed by a vote of 60-40. Specifically, the bill would exempt Nebraska from costs associated with the expansion of Medicaid. In exchange for Nelson’s vote, this kickback alone would cost the 49 other states at least $100,000,000.
Several Texas Democrats in the House voted both in favor of the Stupak-Pitts amendment and the health care bill. While two of these congressmen are reliable Pro-Life votes, nothing can be taken for granted. Please call all three and thank them for supporting the Pro-Life language. Most importantly, ask that they do not support the health care bill without Stupak-Pitts.
Simply stated, Planned Parenthood must leave Houston. The simplest way community members can send that message to the controversial organization is to encourage friends, family members, other students, co-workers, and fellow believers to not use Planned Parenthood's services. There are many other medical alternatives in Houston to Planned Parenthood. By making informed health choices, community members can receive high quality, compassionate, professional care without the controversy.
No person should ever feel that the only place in the city to get medical care is the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.
Other than abortion, medical services provided at the Planned Parenthood facilities are available elsewhere in Houston, and at many of these places patients will be treated regardless of their financial situation.
For a list of alternatives, please call 713-395-1330.