Last year, hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law a sweeping anti-choice bill designed to shut down abortion providers in the state, Planned Parenthood announced that it would be closing three of its Texas clinics that provide abortion services, all of them in rural areas, leaving women seeking an abortion far from other providers.
Now, the anti-choice group 40 Days for Life, which organizes protests outside of abortion clinics throughout the country, is announcing that it is moving its national headquarters into one of the shuttered Planned Parenthood facilities in Texas. Where Planned Parenthood used to provide medical care, 40 Days for Life is also planning to house an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center.
40 Days for Life credits its members’ prayers for giving it its new headquarters:
BRYAN/COLLEGE STATION, Texas /Christian Newswire/ — The worldwide 40 Days for Life movement is moving its headquarters into a former Planned Parenthood abortion center in Bryan/College Station, Texas. The pro-life initiative began outside that same facility ten years ago.
“This news shows what God can accomplish when His people pray,” said Shawn Carney, campaign director of 40 Days for Life. “More than 6,400 children lost their lives in this building, but God is making ‘all things new.’ What was once a place of death and despair is now going to be a place of life and hope. We are excited to start using this location to aid the rapid worldwide growth of 40 Days for Life, and to help other cities become abortion-free.”
Short-term plans include a memorial service for the children lost to abortion inside the building, and tearing down the tall, black iron fence surrounding the property as part of renovations.
The new 40 Days for Life headquarters will be used to help many more communities end abortion. The building will also house Hope Pregnancy Center, an affiliate of CareNet, as they expand their local medical services to include free STD testing. “The partnership between the two organizations demonstrates the close relationship between 40 Days for Life and life-saving pregnancy resource centers,” Carney said.
Planned Parenthood, however, had a different explanation for the clinic’s closing: drastic cuts to family planning aid in Texas, aimed directly at Planned Parenthood:
Rochelle Tafolla with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast said they’re closing the center because of continued and targeted cuts to family planning.
She said it started when the budget for the Family Planning Network was drastically cut. Soon after, Tafolla said they were further hindered when the Women’s Health Program in Texas came to an end.
And those two programs provided the vast majority of access for women in east Texas to get basic health care, said Tafolla. Well-Woman exams, birth control and cervical cancer screenings.
Tafolla said it’s the City of Bryan and surrounding communities that will suffer from the closing.
The big deal is that women have relied on Planned Parenthood. They’ve come to trust us, said Tafolla. They know that they can get nonjudgmental, unbiased information from us. They know that we are affordable, and they know that they can get into us whenever they need to.
Tafolla said it will be much more difficult for women to get access to their kind of help.