Pro-life leaders and activists came from all over the country last summer to Selma, Alabama, to pray and participate in a march across the historic Edmund Pettis Bridge after Father Terry Gensemer, national director of Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life, discovered and exposed an illegal abortion clinic that was operating there. Now, that clinic has shut down.
Abortionist Samuel Lett is no longer practicing at the Selma clinic, which has now been turned into a weight loss clinic. The Central Alabama Women’s Clinic had been operating illegally since at least 2014. According to Alabama law, any facility that performs more than nine abortions per month must be licensed. This clinic wasn’t licensed, but they certainly performed more than nine abortions per month. Pro-life groups called for the Alabama Department of Public Health to investigate, but the ADPH appeared to turn a blind eye to the laws being broken by what many activists called a “back-alley abortion clinic.”
Catherine Davis, of the National Black Pro-Life Coalition and president of The Restoration Project, told the Selma Times Journal that “if they had simply sat in front of his clinic when the complaint was first filed they could’ve seen for their own eyes women going in pregnant and coming out not.”
The clinic was specifically targeting black babies for death, and was located in the heart of a black community. Davis and other pro-life leaders have sought to bring attention to the fact that black women are disproportionately targeted for abortion. According to Davis, most abortion clinics around the country are located within a two mile radius walk of black or latino neighborhoods. She said that the primary clientele at Lett’s clinic were poor, black women.
Statements like this are not designed for “race-baiting” or to incite division. It is a simple mathematical fact. While African-Americans make up 13.2% of the population in America, more than 1/3 of abortions are performed on black mothers. The Radiance Foundation reports that, in New York City, more black babies are aborted than are born alive. Abortion literally kills more African-Americans than anything else.
Residents in the area observed the women who were going into the clinic and confirmed that most were African-American. Some leaders feared that Lett had the makings of becoming another Kermit Gosnell, the bloody abortionist who was noted for having two separate abortion rooms – one for white women, and another dirtier, less sanitary room for black women.
On the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, many pro-life groups came together to bring attention to the fact that Lett’s illegal abortion clinic represented a reprehensible display of racism against precious black women and their unborn babies. Leaders called for state officials to investigate the facility.
I was compelled to be there and participate in “the Selma Project” events. The prayer meeting the night before the march was one of the most powerful that I have ever experienced. Men and women, black and white, joined together in the most incredible display of unity that I have ever seen, interceding for an end to abortion, both in Selma, and in the nation. Cara Hunter, producer of the upcoming film, Hear From Heaven, spoke for many of us when she said, “As we took part in the prayers lifting up that weekend, we knew in our hearts that something spiritually historic had taken place and that God was going to hear the cries of His intercessors.”
I was honored to march across that bridge side-by-side with sisters and brothers marching for the lives of women and babies. There was such a deep cry for justice coming from the hearts of those who marched and prayed that weekend. I marched with such champions of life as Dr. Alveda King, Catherine Davis, Babette Holder, Kuuleme Stephens, Star Parker, Celeste Claverie, Thomas Smith, Natalie Brumfield, Fr. Terry Gensemer, Melanie Harmon, and many others. The sense of history weighed heavily on us as we marched for change, declaring a “turn-around” in the city of Selma and in America.
Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke at the end of the solemn march across the bridge:
We are here today to say, “No more!” We are not here to negotiate; we are here to regulate. … It’s no longer in the back yard. It’s no longer under the rug. It’s in our face. Abortion and the slaughtering and raping and maiming of our women must stop! All lives matter! God bless each and every one.
Now, there is victory. Father Gensemer reported on December 30, just as 2015 was coming to a close, that Dr. Lett’s clinic in Selma has closed. He said, “We are thankful that Dr. Lett has ceased abortions in Selma, as we know that this same kind of under-the-radar, illegal activity led to the horrors we saw in Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic.”
The trailer for Hear From Heaven has just been released. The film features the testimony of Christina Marie Bennett, a young lady who barely escaped being aborted herself. The crew traveled with her to Selma to record the “Selma project, a prayer siege asking God to release justice for black women manipulated and harmed by the abortion industry.” The trailer offers a taste of the historical events that eventually led to the victory of the closing of the Selma abortion clinic. Watch: