By Kathleen Gilbert
PORTLAND, Oregon, February 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Oregonian pro-lifers spent a cold and drizzly Valentine's Day afternoon outside in Portland protesting the opening of a new Planned Parenthood "supercenter," whose completion they have actively resisted for years.
Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW) celebrated the opening of its huge $12.5 million headquarters, which is equipped to perform abortions, in Northeast Portland. Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, lauded the occasion as "expanding health care access" to women.
Outside, pro-life speakers rallied the crowd throughout the afternoon against the new abortion mill. The speakers included pastors and post-abortive women with Silent No More Awareness, who shared their stories.
"To me, it was totally like good and evil coming to grips with each other," said Carolyn Wendell, projects director of Oregon Right to Life, who was at the rally.
Wendell told LifeSiteNews.com that she estimated that about 60-70 pro-lifers were present, while her group counted about 15-20 young pro-abortion protesters. Wendell said pro-life messages and images of aborted children competed with pro-abort signs, with slogans that included "My boyfriend wears a condom," "I ovulate, you shut up," and "There is no God, only science."
"It's sad that they let these kids believe this ignorance and to their destruction, and live off them and their ignorance," said Wendell.
The Portland facility had faced considerable pro-life grassroots opposition which hampered its construction. In 2008, Walsh Construction backed out of building the new Planned Parenthood facility under pressure from local pro-lifers. Led by the local pro-life group Precious Children of Portland, pro-lifers also reportedly boycotted contractors and plumbers engaged in the Planned Parenthood project.
Like the abortion "supercenter" that opened in Houston Texas last month, the new facility is located in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, prompting pro-life charges of "racism" on the part of Planned Parenthood. PPCW's previous headquarters was located in an area with a population about 1% African-Americans; the new location is about 43% African-American.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Houston We Have A Problem – Largest U.S. Abortion Mill to be Silently Sieged
Construction Company Backs out of Building Abortion Center for Planned Parenthood after Local Pressure