On Saturday, January 16, at 10:45 AM the Birmingham March for Life, United for Life and Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life will gather leaders and citizens from across the city for a one-hour Prayer Vigil & Witness for Life in front of Planned Parenthood — Birmingham’s last remaining abortion clinic. (Located at 1019 1st Ave N.)
This event is in lieu of the annual March for Life, which has been a staple in the Birmingham pro-life calendar for many, many years. As has always been true of the March, this Vigil will still celebrate the rich pro-life community in Birmingham and mark the tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The event is focused on peaceful prayer, is permitted by the city and will encourage Covid protocols.
Speakers will include: Jim Pinto, Life, Marriage & Family Advocate; Fr. Terry Gensemer, CEC For Life; Lisa Hogan, Sav-A-Life Vestavia; Ed Carrick, 40 Days for Life.
Jim Pinto, long-time organizer of the March for Life, comments, “Every year we have assembled to remember those preborn children killed by abortion since the decision of Roe v. Wade, and to celebrate, with hope, the work so many are doing in this city to protect children in the womb, their mothers and their fathers. Planned Parenthood is the last abortion clinic left in this city, and so this year we will gather peacefully on the sidewalk in front of their building to pray for an end to abortion and stand in unity for the sanctity of Life.”
Over the last five years, especially, Birmingham’s last abortion facility has struggled to provide abortions or even remain open, finally resolving to build a new facility in a different location in the city. Planned Parenthood’s new location opened late last year.
Throughout Planned Parenthood’s random closures and rebuilding, many other well-established, life-affirming centers across the greater metro Birmingham area have continued to consistently and successfully provide care for Birmingham women facing pregnancy, ensuring they have access to medical care and financial resources no matter the situation or circumstance.
“For more than 40 years now, the six local pregnancy care centers have been providing free and confidential medical and educational services to women, men and families in unplanned pregnancy situations. In 2020 alone, almost 12,000 women and families in the Birmingham metro area benefited from the excellent care and resources we provide,” says Lisa Hogan, Executive Director of Sav-A-Life, Inc.
The pro-life community has also maintained a faithful prayer presence outside of the new Planned Parenthood, even when construction was still going on. There is even a new mobile ultrasound unit with Life on Wheels Alabama dedicated to serving women in the city, and often parked right outside of Planned Parenthood to offer women free ultrasounds, consultations and resources regarding both their health and the health of their preborn child.
Fr. Terry Gensemer, director of CEC For Life and emcee for the upcoming Vigil, says, “Planned Parenthood is not an asset to our city, it is a struggling business that has a vast, documented history of ignoring state regulations, harming women and exploiting our communities. There are so many other places women can find assistance and support in Birmingham. So many wonderful people, ready to help. On Saturday, we will gather to affirm our city is a sanctuary for preborn children and their mothers. Birmingham simply does not need Planned Parenthood.”