An abortion facility in Pensacola, Florida has announced that it will close, bringing joy to participants in the three 40 Days for Life prayer vigils at the site. One pro-life organizer said the closing was “an answer to prayer.”
The Community Healthcare Center, which was dually licensed as an abortion clinic and as a clinical laboratory, faced a $413,000 fine after the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) found its lab license had been expired for 413 days. The clinic was fined $1,000 for each day it was unlicensed, the Pensacola News Journal reports.
Instead of paying the fine, the abortion clinic decided to shut down, AHCA press secretary Tiffany Vause reported.
State officials had offered a reduced fine as part of a settlement agreement, but never received a response.
"As of October 30, 2009, The Community Health Center of Pensacola will be terminating its practice,” a notice published in the local newspaper read.
"There had been an abortion clinic in that location for 25 years," commented David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life. "People have prayed there that abortions would cease, and it was during the fall 40 Days for Life campaign -- the peaceful, prayerful presence of faithful Christians -- that it was finally announced that this facility, where untold numbers of unborn children perished, was closing. That is not just a coincidence. God works in mysterious ways, and this is indeed an answer to prayer!"
The 40 Days for Life campaign claims that the Pensacola clinic is the fifth abortion facility that has closed after being the site of a vigil organized by the campaign.
Bereit adds that 571 lives are known to have been “spared from abortion” in the fall campaign.
“There have been eight abortion industry employees who have left their jobs. And two abortion centers have announced their closings. It's been a most eventful 40 days."
The other announced clinic closure was a Planned Parenthood clinic in Kalispell, Montana, which had been the site of a 40 Days for Life vigil last spring.
One director of a Planned Parenthood clinic, Abby Johnson, was among the employees who quit their jobs. She cited a change of heart after observing an ultrasound of an abortion.
The Pensacola News Journal reports that there are 71 abortion clinics licensed in Florida. The closure of the Community Healthcare Center leaves AMS of Pensacola as the only abortion clinic in Escambia County.
The website for the 40 Days for Life campaign is at http://www.40daysforlife.com.