The West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama performed more than 3,000 abortions last year. This is more than any other abortion clinic in Alabama. The closure of other abortion clinics in Alabama and nearby Mississippi has resulted in more women seeking abortions at this clinic. This has not gone unnoticed by local pro-life activists who have stepped up their efforts in recent years. The local 40 Days For Life campaign headed up by University of Alabama senior Claire Chretien has seen impressive gains in popularity. More area churches are getting involved and several pro-lifers come to pray at the clinic throughout the week
In response, the West Alabama Women’s Center has tried to raise funds – purportedly for an abortion fund for low income women — whenever people come to the clinic to pray or sidewalk counsel. These “Pledge a Picketer” campaigns are nothing new. Many abortion clinics have used them as a way to either raise money or discourage pro-life activists. However, the West Alabama Women’s Center’s “Adopt an Anti” campaign is unique for a couple reasons. First, it is ironic that they use the word “Adopt.” The West Alabama Women’s Center aborts thousands of unborn children every year, but does not provide adoption services.
Second , unlike other “Pledge and Picketer” campaigns – the West Alabama Women’s Center encourages people to “adopt” a specific pro-lifer by name and make a donation to a whenever they come to pray at the clinic. For instance, one can adopt pro-life activists Paul and Mary Lake and pay $10 whenever they visit clinic. Claire Chretien, President of ‘Bama Students for Life can be adopted for a mere $5 a visit. Chretien was disappointed that she could be adopted only $5 per clinic visit. “If I am going to miss class, my time is worth far more than $5,” she said. However, she reasoned it might get “expensive” to adopt her since she’s out there so often.
Despite this harassment, ‘Bama Students for Life plans to continue their pro-life outreach. Last April, Students for Life of America named them one of their groups of the month. Last spring they brought the Genocide Awareness Project to campus and this fall they are launching a “Pregnant on Campus Initiative” which will assistant pregnant women and mothers on campus. They are also turning the tables on the abortion clinic and asking pro-lifers to “Adopt an Abortion Abolitionist” and make a donation whenever a group member goes to the clinic. They plan to use the funds to provide material support for young mothers in need.