New center destined to make N.O. an abortion hub


    Planned Parenthood’s reputation as a provider of comprehensive “women’s health services” is not only a sham but also a smokescreen for the profitable and heinous procedure it foists on nine out of every 10 women who enter its doors: abortion. 

  This was among the disturbing statistics brought to light at a May 16 prayer vigil organized by the multi-denominational NOLA Needs Peace Coalition. The event, which drew nearly 400 people to Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, was the first of several public meetings designed to mobilize resistance to a $4.2 million, 7,000-square-foot Planned Parenthood center set for construction at 4636 South Claiborne Avenue.
   When completed in 2014, the sprawling facility will be the largest abortion site in the state.
   “There is no need for this facility. There is no need whatsoever!” said Abraham Hamilton III, whose Gideon Christian Fellowship Church is part of the 15-member NOLA Needs Peace initiative. Hamilton, an attorney and a father of two, said most of the services Planned Parenthood offers, such as cancer screenings and contraceptive counseling, already are readily available at dozens of local private and public facilities.
   “The only thing that the Planned Parenthood facilities in New Orleans are not doing currently is abortions,” Hamilton said. “This (new) facility is being planned to bring abortions to New Orleans. They want to make our city a regional hub for murdering innocent children.”

A city’s worth of death

   During a slide show on Planned Parenthood’s operations, Hamilton pointed out that the organization is the nation’s largest single abortion provider, performing about one third of its annual abortions. In 2011, Planned Parenthood performed a record-high 333,964 abortions, a loss of life almost equal to the population of New Orleans.
   “There are many people who’ll jump up and down and complain about the murder in our city, but who don’t (realize that) there’s a violence that starts way before it even hits the streets – the violence going on in the womb,” Hamilton said.
   Alarmingly, while the total number of abortions nationally has declined or held steady since 2005, abortions performed at Planned Parenthood have risen some 26 percent in those years.

Non-abortion services scant
   Although Planned Parenthood casts itself as a provider of an array of health services for women, it overwhelmingly favors abortion for its pregnant clients, Hamilton added. In 2011, it dedicated 92 percent of its services to abortions, while devoting just 7 percent of its efforts to prenatal care and less than 1 percent to adoption referrals. Preventive cancer services at its locations have declined 35 percent since 2005.
   “If (Planned Parenthood) were really concerned about ‘planning’ for families, why do more than 90 percent of pregnant women who enter their doors get an abortion?” Hamilton asked. “Because it’s all about abortion for Planned Parenthood.”
   Abortion’s disproportionate impact on minorities – with African Americans accounting for 30 percent of abortions nationally while constituting just 12.6 percent of the population – was also noted. It is the leading cause of death of African Americans, “more than gang violence, more than diabetes, more than heart disease,” Hamilton said, adding that Planned Parenthood has been complicit by locating nearly 80 percent of its 165 abortion facilities within walking distance of African-American or Latino neighborhoods.

Callous money-maker
   When you “follow the money,” it makes sense, Hamilton said. Although Planned Parenthood claims that abortions constitute only 3 percent of its services, “the numbers show that half of its annual revenue results directly from abortion,” he said. With net assets of more than $1.2 billion, Planned Parenthood collected $157 million in revenues from abortion services in 2011-12, while enjoying $7.4 million in excess revenue and receiving $542 million in taxpayer funding that year.
   “I can think about a whole lot of things that can be done with $542 million other than killing children,” Hamilton said. “The reason why Planned Parenthood is pushing for increased abortion is because the bottom line is that this is where they make their money.”

Seemingly ‘optionless’ at 16

   Speaker Shawna Kimbrough reminded attendees that the statistics have a very human face. Kimbrough shared her story of getting pregnant at age 16 and heading to Planned Parenthood for an abortion, too afraid to tell her mother about her pregnancy.
   “There was a voice telling me that if I told my mother, she would no longer respect me, that she would no longer be there for me, and I believed that lie,” Kimbrough said. When the teenager told the Planned Parenthood receptionist she was having second thoughts about going through with the termination, the receptionist told her that either way, she couldn’t get her money back.
   “At that moment I had a choice to walk away or continue with the procedure. I made a split-second decision to go ahead with (it),” Kimbrough said, describing the cold environment in the clinic, from the medical instruments to the stoic, unsmiling staff. Experiencing “a sinking feeling” afterward, Kimbrough asked to see her baby.
   “(The nurse) brought me my son on a silver platter, in pieces,” said Kimbrough, whose life was in tatters before finally accepting God’s forgiveness for her abortion 10 years later. Feeling a tap on the shoulder, a voice told Kimbrough to look up: in the clouds, she saw a pair of hands holding a dimpled baby boy.
   “I knew that that was my son (and that) he was in the Master’s hands,” she said. “That was enough for me; a choice I had made against God was forgiven, and my son, Cornelius, had been made whole through Christ.”
   Kimbrough suggested that while laws – such as requiring a woman to see a sonogram of her fetus before undergoing an abortion – might help curb the practice, the only way to end abortion altogether is to change hearts and minds.
   “Laws don’t change people. It’s the spirit of the living God,” she said. “Ultimately, everything that we do has to be done in love. If we’re going to protest, if we’re going to raise our voices, if we don’t do it in love, we’re going to miss the mark.”
   NOLA Needs Peace is asking pro-life advocates to pray for the end of abortion and to raise awareness of the new Planned Parenthood facility through social media, the erection of yard signs and phone calls to elected officials. A door-knocking campaign in the impacted neighborhood will begin in June. Visit www.NolaNeedsPeace.com.
   Beth Donze can be reached at bdonze@clarionherald.org.

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