Pro-life advocates are ramping up their efforts in Waco, Texas after they learned that a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic reopened in their community this spring.
On Saturday, Pro-Life Waco held a rally in downtown Waco to speak up for unborn babies and their mothers, KWTX News reports.
“We are going to respond and proclaim that we don’t want this in Waco, and we are going to try to be out there to persuade every woman that abortion is not the right choice,” Pro-Life Waco Director John Pisciotta told the news station.
He said they felt devastated when Planned Parenthood announced in May that it would start doing abortions again in Waco.
The Waco facility halted its abortion practice in 2013 after it could not or chose not to follow a new state law requiring abortion facilities to meet basic health and safety regulations. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Texas law, resulting in several abortion clinics announcing plans to reopen.
The Planned Parenthood in Waco, which opened in 1994, killed more than 19,000 unborn babies in abortions previously. Now, that number is growing again.
On Saturday, local pro-life leaders said they plan to work with 40 Days for Life to hold regular prayer vigils and provide sidewalk counseling outside the abortion facility. They also plan to reach out to women and families through advertising and other events.
“We will try to respond as positively, but vigorously, warmly, kindly but with great vigor to bring this to a close again,” Pisciotta said. “You will continue to see billboards, we have the life chain, you will continue to see us on the overpass on Interstate 35.”
A few other abortion clinics in Texas also plan to reopen this year. In April, Whole Woman’s Health, a chain of abortion clinics in Texas that challenged the abortion clinic regulation law in court, said its Austin abortion facility will reopen this year.
This is despite the abortion chain’s long history of putting patients’ health and safety at risk. State inspection reports showed dozens of violations that threatened the health and safety of its patients, including failures to properly sterilize abortion instruments, lack of an RN or LVN on staff, rusty suction machines and expired and unlabeled medications.
These re-openings are the result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June 2016 to strike down state abortion clinic regulations. The high court ruled 5-3 against the Texas pro-life law with Justice Stephen Breyer writing the decision. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Breyer. Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.
At issue in the ruling were two provisions: that abortion clinics meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers and that abortionists have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital for medical emergency situations.
Texas’ law arguably was responsible for saving the lives of tens of thousands of unborn babies by closing abortion clinics that were unable to protect women’s health. The law protected women’s health and welfare by requiring abortion clinics to meet the kinds of medical and safety standards that legitimate medical centers meet.