A Fitting Eulogy
Two weeks ago, information suggesting that Founder’s abortion clinic was closing first surfaced with news that the building had sold, and the last remaining licensed physician was retiring. Last week, a historically reliable source indicated that the clinic’s last day would be June 30th. Yesterday, a small group of our volunteers gathered to pray, observing that no patients entered or exited the building. Last evening, I encountered an employee of LabCorp who indicated that there would not be any more pickups at this location. Today, an employee of Founder’s confirmed that the clinic has closed permanently and that all patients would be referred to another location.
Thus, after 47 years in operation, 30 of them at 1243 E Broad Street, Ohio’s first abortion clinic is out of business. This closure is both a real and a symbolic victory for the unborn children of our community and the pro-life advocates who have been steadfast in their efforts to bring prayer, witness, and real help to the sidewalks outside of Founder’s.
Before we celebrate this wonderful news, we should pause for a few moments to remember the unborn children who have died at Founder’s and those who mourn them. While we cannot know the numbers, a reasonable calculated from available reports suggests that between 75,000 and 100,000 abortions were committed at the current location and perhaps as many as 25,000 to 50,000 (or more) at previous locations.
Each person, including the unborn, is of infinite value, and any effort to quantify a loss of this magnitude will fall short. At the same time, we– to one degree or another – have become so complacent and numb to the reality of abortion that perhaps we need to contemplate that number a little more. Let it rest on your heart for a moment that in one building, in one town, in one state, 75,000 to 100,000 unborn babies were intentionally brought for the purpose of causing their death. We have much to mourn, much to remember, and much to change.
I have struggled to find the words to mark this occasion – one that bring such disparate emotions. I am still a bit speechless, but I have found inspiration in the words of two men whose pro-life legacy shines brightly today. Twenty-five years ago, Pope St. John Paul II, addressing an audience primarily of women who had undergone abortions, said, “Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. (EV, 99).” Ten years prior to that, former President Ronald Reagan wrote a eulogy for the fetal remains of 16,433 aborted babies that were found in an abandoned waste drum in Los Angeles, CA. After an intense legal battle, the babies were given humane burial. In his eulogy, Reagan wrote, “From these innocent dead, let us take increased devotion to the cause of restoring the rights of the unborn.”
In our time and in our context, I can give no more fitting eulogy than what has already been written:
What happened here was and remains terribly wrong, but do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. From these innocent dead, let us take devotion to the cause of restoring the rights of the unborn. Amen.
Founder’s is Closed: Thanks be to God.
This did not happen by accident or good fortune; it happened because we are doing good work in Ohio. Read more about our crazy, naive, and impossible plan to close Founders.
A final note: If we estimate as many as 150,000 abortions were committed at Founders, we know that means there are countless men and women who are mourning the loss of a child lost to abortion. For all who struggle, especially those who received abortions at Founder's, there are many places that you can access free and confidential post abortion support. Find many of them on our website.
A local hospital system uses the slogan, "Because there is no routine (procedure)," inserting mammogram, cancer, heart disease - etc., as appropriate.
The same could be said of the days at Greater Columbus Right to Life, because it turns out that there is no such thing as a routine crisis, so the ways in which we help are not exactly routine.
Today brought us three different women in need of help. The first woman we met on the sidewalk, we will call Juliana.* Juliana has limited English skills and found herself thrust into the workforce after several years as a stay at home mom after separating from her husband. Then, she got pregnant. With several children at home who she is already struggling to provide for, Juliana went to Founder's, where she met one of our volunteers before her appointment.
Fortunately, our volunteer spoke some basic Spanish, and after the mom decided to walk to the pregnancy help center, I was able to meet them there to help with translations - grateful I'd brushed up on my pro-life Spanish earlier this year!
While I was still in the counseling room helping Juliana to sort through her situation, our volunteers met a second mom who turned away from the clinic. Mom number two, who we will call Katie, was a teenager herself, and she already has one infant at home. Thinking she was not up to the task, she turned to abortion as a way out, but upon meeting our volunteer, she needed help, support, and encouragement, not abortion.
After a grueling few hours of translating, a real translator showed up just in time for Juliana's ultrasound- fortunate, because my knowledge of medical terminology could be better. Still, I had formed a bond with Juliana, so she asked me to go with her for the ultrasound.
By by the time we left and grabbed some lunch, I was learning about the details of what happened earlier at OSU. There were multiple received calls and texts asking if I was ok. All in all, it was a long, exhausting, and certainly not routine kind of day, but it was not yet over.
At 4:45, just as I was battling a serious headache and about to call it quits for the day, we were contacted by a third mom. This young woman, we will call her Malika, had aged out of the foster care system and given birth to twins in the last eight months. Today, she found herself homeless -living in her car, pregnant again, and facing the news that she would not be able to qualify for a residential program helping with the transition from foster care to independence because of her pregnancy. So, we got to work with a referral to a family shelter for tonight and an appointment with a pregnancy help center tomorrow, and tomorrow we will reconnect with her to make sure she gets the resources she needs. No woman should be made to feel like she must choose between the life of her unborn child and having a roof over her babies' heads.
So many women cross our path every day. Each of them is facing a very real problem, often they have problems that we cannot fully grasp. All of them see abortion as a perceived solution for a very real problem. Frequently they refuse our help, many of them talk to us and consider what we are saying, and a few make the immediate decision for life by turning away from the abortion clinic. Whatever the circumstance, we pray for them, and we offer them hope.
There is no routine crisis and no routine day at Greater Columbus Right to Life. There are, however, regular volunteers and regular needs. This year, we have distributed thousands of pieces of literature to women seeking an abortion, their partners, and their support people. We do this because we care, because women and their children deserve better, and because we are compelled by our faith and the moral laws to stand against this supreme injustice.
Today we met and prayed for and helped three women to make a choice for life and to turn away from the clinic. There is no routine day at GCRTL, but there are routine expenses.
Tomorrow (Nov 29th) is #GivingTuesday, a national day that kicks off the year-end giving cycle. Americans have spent billions from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, and we will give millions to charity on Giving Tuesday.
Like many nonprofits, between twenty and twenty-five percent of our budget will be donated between now and the end of the year. We must raise a minimum of $15,000 to continue our work. In fact, that is what I intended to work on today, but Juliana, Katie, and Malika took precedence.
Please, consider the work that we are doing and the women who we are helping. This #GivingTuesday, I would ask that you consider a gift of at least $75 - that is less than $3 each day between now and Christmas. If you cannot donate $75, a gift of just $10 each month will go further than you can imagine. Because while there are no routine days at GCRTL, together we can show the world that life is always precious and it always takes precidence.
Click here to donate online today.
*Names changed to protect confidentiality.
Breaking: Columbus Abortion Provider Owes an estimated $780,000 to city, state, and federal government agencies as a result of unpaid taxes.
Background: A year ago, Greater Columbus Right to Life learned that the City of Columbus had filed a lawsuit against the owner/operator of the Founder’s abortion clinic for unpaid taxes on what we estimate to be more than $1.2 million dollars in income. The back taxes, fines, and penalties on the amount owed were approximately $50,000. In January of 2016, the court approved a plan for the clinic to pay back part of that amount in monthly installments of $800.
A few days ago, Greater Columbus Right to Life learned that the clinic management and operator also owed the State of Ohio about $110,000, representing $97,000 in Ohio withholding taxes and $13,000 in Ohio’s Commercial Activities Tax. We were tipped off to the clinic being in serious financial difficulty after seeing that the clinic was using crowdfunding to pay for its application to join the National Abortion Federation.
Mammoth Federal Tax Lien:
After learning that the clinic owes about $160,000 to the city and the state in taxes and fees, we decided to dig a little further. What we learned is shocking. The IRS has filed a lien against the clinic’s management for nearly $610,000.
This should make you ask three questions, 1: How much do you need to profit off of the intentional destruction of unborn children in order to owe more than three quarters of a million dollars to tax agencies? 2: How is a business with such a record permitted to keep operating? 3: When is this clinic going to close?
If you wonder why we care about the tax status of an abortion clinic, it is because we remember the lessons of history: Al Capone wasn’t brought down for the murders he committed or his role in the Valentines Massacre, but for tax evasion.
Every day, the abortion industry inculcates our communities and culture with the idea that abortion is a safe and legal practice and that it should be affordable and subsidized by our tax dollars. But as we have shown again and again, abortion is not safe. The industry is filled with criminal behavior and illegal acts. This is another of them.
Join Us to Keep It Going:
It is undeniable that our work to bring the light of prayer and truth to the abortion clinic is having an effect. Our team has now built two shifts of prayer partners, focusing on making sure that a volunteer is there for each woman entering or leaving the abortion clinic. We are inviting additional volunteers to join our prayer team.
The cracks are starting to show and grow, and we are going to keep doing this work until either abortion is no more or we do not have the funds to go on. Unlike Founder's, we do not have a million dollars in gross receipts coming in, and we pay all of the taxes, licenses, and fees that we are required to by local, state, and federal law. This has been a difficult year for us, financially. If you have not yet supported our work, can you consider making a donation today? You can do so on our secure, online portal, by sending a check in the mail (665 E Dublin Granville Rd, St 115, Columbus OH 43229), or by joining or donating to our Prayer-a-Thon.
How do you know when an abortion clinic is sinking quickly? Is it:
If you guessed “6) All of the above,” you would be correct.
Two years ago, we learned that one of the abortion providers at Founder’s and Capital Care was indicted on federal child pornography charges. One year ago, we learned that the City of Columbus was suing them for owing back taxes. Around that same time, an employee and abortion supporter started the “Pro Choice Cats” campaign to purchase billboard advertising for the clinic. Four months ago, City Council members attempted to enact legislation that would restrict our right to pray and protest within fifteen feet of the clinic property line (the legislation was amended and the objectionable language removed). Three days ago, we learned that a supporter of the Toledo office (Capital Care Network) was resorting to crowdfunding in order for the clinic to raise the $250 fee to apply to the National Abortion Federation and the $750 NAF site visit fee. Today, we learned that the State of Ohio has also filed at least three tax liens against the owner/manager of Founder’s and Capital Care Network. One of the liens is for $64,688.86 in unpaid withholding tax, one is for $32,666.01 in unpaid withholding tax, and the third is for $13,564.03 in unpaid Commercial Activities Tax (CAT). The judgement lien information does not indicate if the back taxes were owed for one year or several years. However, we do know without a doubt that this represents millions of dollars in gross receipts to the clinic’s owner/manager. How? Because Ohio’s CAT, or commercial activities tax, levied at .26% (that’s 0.0026) on a business’s gross receipts, with the first million exempt (there are exemptions for small businesses and an alternate structure for those businesses with a million dollars or less in receipts each year). With what the clinic owes, it is certain that the business is bringing in more than a million dollars a year.
So the big question is – if the abortion clinic is bringing in more than a million dollars each year and not paying taxes, why on earth does it need to resort to selling tee-shirts to pay for advertising billboards and crowdfunding to pay professional licensing applications?
Earlier this week, a supporter of the Toledo Capital Care (owned/managed by the same entity that owns and manages the Columbus Founder’s facility) started a “YouCaring” crowd-funding campaign. According to YouCaring, its website is a platform to raise money for individuals and nonprofits (not businesses) for humanitarian purposes. It appears as though the YouCaring website has disabled the Capital Care Network fundraiser, probably because funding business licenses for multi-million dollar abortion businesses is not actually considered a humanitarian need. That notwithstanding, the campaign sought to raise $1000 so that the clinic could apply to be a member of the National Abortion Federation. Two of the "benefits" of membership? Discounts on abortion supplies and getting referrals from their abortion hotline.
Don’t get us wrong, abortion is always wrong because it involved the intentional destruction of innocent human life. Abortion providers are not morally better when they have clean offices, refuse to hire pedophiles, or pay their taxes. However, we do believe that abortion, filthy facilities, convicted child sex predators, and tax-cheating seem to go hand-in-hand at an astonishing rate. We suspect that is because, as St. Teresa of Kolkata is often quoted to have said, “If abortion isn’t wrong, then nothing is wrong.”
Perhaps all of the people walking around wearing their "Pro-Choice Cat” tee shirts and (warning, vulgar) stickers should consider for a moment funding Tax-Cheat Terrie’s CAT Tax bill.
Until then, we will continue our work in prayer, education, advocacy, and investigating the truth about abortion.
It is undeniable that our work to bring the light of prayer and truth to the abortion clinic is having an effect. The cracks are starting to show and grow, and we are going to keep doing this work until either abortion is no more or we do not have the funds to go on. Unlike Founder's, we do not have a million dollars in gross receipts coming in, and we pay all of the taxes, licenses, and fees that we are required to by local, state, and federal law. This has been a difficult year for us, financially. If you have not yet supported our work, can you consider making a donation today? You can do so on our secure, online portal, by sending a check in the mail (665 E Dublin Granville Rd, St 115, Columbus OH 43229), or by joining or donating to our Prayer-a-Thon.
Update: It seems that Planned Parenthood has a tax problem, albeit a much lesser one, too.
The 5 Most Egregious Things to Happen at City Council Tonight:
Tonight was the "Public Hearing" on 1548-2016. Thanks to everyone who came out. For those who missed it, here were the five most egregious things to happen...
5: Teeny Tiny Room
Seriously, did they look for the smallest room possible? There was room in the hearing, counting standing room, for maybe 60 people.
4: Dozens Locked Out
Because City Council choose such a small location, dozens who wanted to attend were locked out of the building.
3: City Police Officer Lied
Columbus police officer Nicole, who occasionally worked as a private duty police officer at Founder's, told city council members of her experiences with volunteers. One anecdote that she shared was that volunteers would lie to women by telling them that the abortion clinic had employed a known sex offender, when that was not true. Except, it was true. Read all about it here: http://www.gcrtl.org/blog/abortion-provider-indicted-on-child-pornography-charges
Note: updated post includes a link at the bottom of this entry to the full hearing. You can watch Officer Nicole lie about this at the 1:05:27 point.
2: Public Testimony Limited
Although billed as a public hearing which would allow proponents and opponents of the proposal to testify for/against the law in 3-minute, alternating witness statements, City Council filled the time with member statements, a presentation from their attorney, and the statements of one officer mentioned above. In total, only about fifteen minutes of the 5:30-7:00pm hearing were allotted to opponent speakers.
1: It Was All A Farce
It was all a farce anyway, and it was obvious that this was little more than for-show hearing. City Council already showed its hand that it intends to act on this proposal next Monday.
We aren't going to let it happen without trying to stop it, though.
In in less than a week, we have gathered thousands of postcards from opponents of the proposed law, and more than 500 have signed our petition (www.gcrtl.org/city-council). Join us!
Watch the full hearing. To skip to the part where Officer Nicole lies about an abortion doctor being charged as a sex offender, forward to the 1:05:27 mark when Councilwoman Brown asks her about her experiences.
This month’s GCRTL volunteer spotlight is Bonnita! She was recommended for her special efforts by her fellow sidewalk counselors, who strongly admire her prayerful and peaceful presence and her loving heart out on the sidewalk and throughout the community. We caught up with Bonnita and asked her to share why she got involved and what she loves most about being part of our team. Here is what she had to say:
Our Church was looking for a way to defend the unborn and serve the hurting as God commands. Our good sister Ashley paved the way and put us in touch with Greater Columbus Right To Life. Prior to becoming a side-walk counselor, abortion didn't cross my mind often, even though my Pastor had preached against it. I thought of this evil as rare and far off. Since then, I have been shocked to learn 110 babies are murdered every week in Franklin County. May God have mercy upon us and our nation. I was just as shocked at how few Christians showed up each week and how few the faithful are to this essential ministry.
On the sidewalk I witness woman after woman walking into the clinic. It has been surreal. My mind can't process what it's seeing each time I see it. How can this be happening, I wonder? Looking into the eyes of the frightened and the hurting, it seems these women don’t know where to turn while facing the abyss of hopelessness.
Knowing that people from our church and GCRTL will be there for many of these women makes me thankful. The relief they seek can’t be found in that dreadful building. Seeing them come talk to us or leave the clinic, fills my heart to almost bursting with God’s love and hope. Not really knowing the perfect things to say, by faith we open our mouths and God speaks through us of His truth and mercy. When the women are gone we pray and hope they will come back to talk with us. Being able to be part of a mother’s tearful decision to turn away from her appointment to end her baby’s life is so amazing! Thanks be to God for allowing us to witness His great work. He is so good to allow us to be there for them in their time of suffering. I thank God they are not alone.
May God help us to use the Word in defense of unborn children so we might “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter” (Prov. 24:11).
I would invite you to please join us. Look into the eyes of death and speak the words of life, like Jesus did for us. You might be surprised how much difference you can make if you simply show up and see what God can do.
“For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:13-14).
My pastor is so good to remind all of us that if it wasn't for the Grace of God we might be walking into this “House of Death” as well. We were all dead in our trespasses and sins before God transformed our hearts. Praise be to God. “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4).
Bonnita is a member of Foundation Church, which is located in Mt. Sterling. She often joins members of her church, who have committed to prayer at the clinic once a month, and regularly comes on other days as well. In her free time, Bonnita especially loves spending time with her nieces and nephews, gardening, and caring for others in her church, family, and community. Please keep Bonnita, and all of our volunteers, in your prayers. THANK YOU Bonnita!!