Georgia Abortion Business Cuts Office Hours After 40 Days for Life Event

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 7, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Georgia Abortion Business Cuts Office Hours After 40 Days for Life Event

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 7
, 2010

Augusta, GA (LifeNews.com) — The Planned Parenthood abortion center in Augusta, Georgia has cut its office hours in the wake of the 40 Days for Life prayerful pro-life event. With the national abortion business closing 38 centers in 2009, news of the cutback in hours doesn’t get Planned Parenthood off to a good start this year.

Leola Reis, the vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood of Georgia, blamed the economy for the cutback.

"Women have been changing their consumption of health care because of the economy," she told the Augusta Chronicle newspaper. "We’re seeing a lot of women giving up preventive care. Their priorities are keeping the bills paid, putting food on the table, and their kids’ health before their own."

Reis said current staff was "somewhat" affected but she doesn’t think anyone will be laid off because of the decision.

With the 2009 closings, the total number of non-express centers Planned Parenthood operates nationwide stands at 797.

Jim Sedlak of STOPP International, which monitors the abortion business, says cutting back hours is the first step to closing.

"We have observed that often the first sign that a clinic is in trouble is that it cuts its operating hours in order to save money," he says in a Thursday email to LifeNews.com.

"It was heartening to us, then, when an article in the Augusta Chronicle in December revealed that the Planned Parenthood clinic in that city had cut its hours – from 40 hours a week to just 19 hours," he said.

Sedlak says he believes the 40 Days for Life campaign helped.

"The newspaper article mentions the 40 Days For Life activity at this clinic," he said, adding, "there are at least eight regularly scheduled protests at this clinic every month."

"It has been shown that having a regular protest, at least weekly, has a major impact on Planned Parenthood’s business," he added.

Gary Garner, a Catholic businessman quoted in the newspaper, agrees, and said he thinks local pro-life efforts have something to do with the decision.

"What they do, it’s an abomination of the highest order. They’ve been in that little brick building for 30, 31 years," he said. "We would love to see them shut the whole thing down."

The last 40 Days for Life Vigil, as it’s known, ended in November, and about 75 people participated. The next one begins in February.

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