Planned Parenthood does not care about your anti-abortion law.
The nonprofit organization, which serves millions of women annually, is continuing with its plans for a 10,000-square foot clinic in downtown Birmingham, despite Alabama’s recently passed ban on all abortions, except those to save the life of the mother.
“We are a doctor that Birmingham has counted on for decades, and we are committed to continuing to provide that care,” Barbara Ann Luttrell, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman, told AP earlier this week.
In reality, despite the extreme rhetoric from the right, abortions are a tiny fraction of the health services that Planned Parenthood clinics provide to women. And that is certainly true in Alabama, where the Planned Parenthood clinic hasn’t regularly scheduled abortions since 2017.
In fact, because of their services, which include birth control and family planning, the clinics have likely prevented thousands more abortions than they’ve performed.
Those facts have not deterred the anti-abortion crowd, however.
Protesters routinely show up to the new building site, which AP reported is protected by hired security guards, and groups are now encouraging local vendors and construction companies to not take contracts for Planned Parenthood’s new “state of the art clinic.”
“It was surprising when we found out that they were going to build this,” Rev. Terry Gensemer, of the Metro Birmingham Life Forum, told AP. “My question is after the bill passage, why are they continuing to be so aggressive when the possibility exists that they won’t be able to be in business?”
Gensemer and his group plan to prevent the Alabama Department of Health from granting a license to the clinic. On what grounds isn’t clear. Luttrell said that, as always, Planned Parenthood is complying with all state and federal laws.
In the meantime, Alabama business groups simply want the uproar over Alabama’s new abortion ban to go away. It has already driven business away from the state, and business leaders worry that they could be caught in the sort of PR nightmare that Georgia is now facing (Numerous TV and film studios have pledged not to work in Georgia over its abortion ban, and high-profile actors and other stars have voiced their pledges to never work in Georgia again).