Birmingham's Planned Parenthood temporarily closed - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Birmingham's Planned Parenthood temporarily closed

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

This Saturday marks the 41st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that made abortions legal in this country.

Abortion rates in the United States have dropped to a thirty year low. A record 81 clinics closed in 2013.

In Birmingham, the last operating clinic shut down this week. The question, is it only temporary?  

A sign on the door simply reads that planned parenthood is temporarily closed. It refers clients to other clinics. One in Mobile, the others in Georgia. If this facility remains closed, Birmingham will be one of largest metropolitan areas in the country without an abortion clinic.

Ed Carrick, is with 40 Days For Life, a pro life group in Birmingham says, "Everyday this place is not in business, lives are saved, women are saved."

For him, the sign on the door is an answered prayer.

"We thank God for this, we've been praying for both clinics for about 30 years."

The clinics Carrick refers to are New Women, All Women, which closed its doors in August of 2013 and now, Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood was the only clinic left willing to perform abortions in Birmingham.

There is still a clinic in Mobile, and a clinic in Marietta, Georgia. There's also clinics in Tuscaloosa and in Huntsville.

Outside Birmingham's Planned Parenthood, Carrick prays with Betsy Childs.

Childs lives near the facility. She watched women go in and out of these doors. Now, she says she hopes more women choose life.

"We stand here praying for this clinic to close but we also try to offer options to women who want something besides abortion," says Childs. "I would love to see Birmingham lead the way on cherishing our children."

For Jim Pinto, with Birmingham March for Life, the timing of this temporary closure adds momentum to this Saturday's annual March for Life in The Magic City.

"If we can close all the abortions clinics, that's what we're looking for," says Pinto. "Something has happened here that hasn't happened in 30 years. No abortion center is functioning in the city of Birmingham!"

An emailed response from Planned Parenthood late Thursday afternoon states that they are 'slowing' down their services in Birmingham temporarily to upgrade operations.

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