EL CENTRO — Dr. Alveda King, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece, addressed the El Centro City Council concerning the city’s plan permitting Planned Parenthood (PP) to perform abortions, Tuesday night.
King spoke on behalf of Imperial Valley Coalition for Life to a packed house and an outside overflowing audience where her voice could be heard on loud speakers. Speaking from a personal perspective on the issue of Planned Parenthood, she shared her experience of having two secret abortions, which she said, “damaged my body, my soul, and my spirit.”
King reminded the council that Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger once said that “colored people are like weeds and they need to be exterminated.” According to King, PP didn’t want word to get out, so they decided to “cultivate some of their leaders.” In 1966 they awarded Martin Luther King with the Margaret Sanger Award, an award that King did not accept.
Martin Luther King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, accepted and delivered a speech on his behalf that his secretary wrote. Alveda reminded the council that her uncle said “human life is sacred.”
Martin Luther King, Jr., instead said, “The negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the future of his children for immediate, personal convenience sake,” Alveda shared.
In keeping with her desire to keep her uncle’s civil right’s movement ongoing, Alveda King said, “true civil rights begin at conception in the womb, and should end with natural death.”
“Please El Centro,” she implored the city council, “don’t open a gym (MLK gym) on one side and a killing mill on the other.”
“That is not a civil right, that is a civil wrong,” she stated.
She ended her talk by asking the council, “Where are the civil rights for the babies?”
Upon conclusion of her speech, a report was given by lawyers from Procopio, a law firm hired by the council to give outside legal advice on their jurisdiction regarding the transfer agreement with PP.
The lawyers concluded that the council is unable to move in action to stop PP from proceeding forward, because of CA state law regarding reproductive rights. The state law has authority over the city. The hospital does possess the right to refuse to sign the transfer agreement, however, they are bound to comply with MediCal and MediCare non-discrimination rules, since they are recipients of funding from those organizations.
Based on the counsel from the lawyers, the City council has concluded that there is nothing legally that can be done, and that the community should continue in their efforts of providing alternative resources.
Planned Parenthood is scheduled to open its doors today. Because they did not pass their final inspection from the Fire Chief, they are operating under a conditional occupancy permit granted from the City. This limits PP’s surgical procedures, but allows them to be in operation. PP threatened a lawsuit over the failed inspection, so in response, the City Council took it to the state, requesting that the State Fire Chief render his opinion, which he has 30 days to give.
Pastor Christ Nunn, of Christ Community Church, also addressed the council, and gave an updated list of the resources that are available to pregnant women in the Valley, advocating they turn to these resources instead of choosing an abortion.
The IV Coalition set up a ministry fair outside the city council meeting, in which Real Hope Center, Birth Choice, Amaris Ministries, WOVEN, Parent Life, and CASA were present, Nunn said.
Nunn also introduced the Coalition’s newest rebuttal to PP, coming in the form of Stanton Healthcare. As PP is advertised as providing “low-cost healthcare,” Stanton Healthcare will provide free healthcare for pregnant women, including the form of a mobile clinic, Nunn informed.
Nunn stated that this will give free healthcare to pregnant women Valley wide, “without burdening the city or tax payers.”
The IV Coalition and citizens came to the city council site early, bringing baby wipes, strollers, diapers, and other child care necessities as part of their “Baby Shower for Life” initiative, which aspired to show the community and city council what the Coalition celebrates, which is “love and care for the community,” Nunn stated.