EL CENTRO — Speak Up Imperial Valley marked 47 years of legalized abortion in the United States with an English rally Saturday, February 1, and a Spanish rally Sunday, February 2, at the Central Baptist Church. Volunteers from different Valley churches worked filling and placing luminaries in an hour’s time. Most of the small white lunch bags were decorated with children’s hands or footprints, hearts, and Bible verses. Some had names of living children and parents. Others had names of a child that would have been named had it lived. One read: I could have been a farmer. Another read: I could have been a doctor.
“Stop Abortion” signs appeared among 3,000 lit luminaries on the corner of El Centro’s South Imperial Ave. and Ross. Large signs read, “Thinking about an abortion?” and “There is Hope” leaned against the church’s outer walls. The number 3,000 stands for the estimated number of abortions performed in the US daily.
“It is only an estimate,” emcee Marty Ellett said, “because the two most populous states, New York and California, do not report the number of abortions from their states.”
Real Hope Director, Deby Ellett, a retired special education teacher, said each luminary represents not just a human life lost, but “a mother, father, grandparent, brother, sister deeply affected.”
“Attempted suicide is six times higher among women who abort than those who carry their babies to full term,” Ellett’s husband, Marty, a registered nurse, said. “Teens who have abortions are ten times more likely to attempt suicide. Marty Ellett pointed out that the abortion industry “knows exactly what they are doing. And though abortion is wrong yesterday, today, and tomorrow, the victims are the families.”
Across the street was the El Centro Regional Medical Center, whose board, voted the final okay permitting Planned Parenthood (PP) permission to build a clinic in El Centro.
“It is estimated that some 30 abortions are performed weekly at the clinic’s site every Tuesday and Wednesday,” said Deby. “We are here tonight to encourage each of us to have compassion and love for anyone who has had an abortion and to offer hope and healing to them and those affected.”
“There is good news though. Because many states are fighting for restrictive laws, it has been estimated that the total number of abortions in the US, around 1.2 million, have gone down an estimated 400,000,” Marty Ellett said. “There is also bad news. Where it is estimated that surgical abortions compared to chemical abortions stand near a 40 to 60 ratio at present, that is likely to flip in the future.”
With chemical abortions, women are given an abortion pill and sent home with two follow up pills to be taken within 48 hours, Marty said.
A reversal pill exists, Ellet said, and must be taken within 72 hours of the first abortion pill. This pill has proven to be close to 68 percent effective. She also said there is no doctor in the Imperial Valley who administers the reversal pill. There is one doctor in San Diego who does offer it.
Stacey Chandler, director of Lifted Up Living, shared her personal story. As the wife of Pastor Norm Chandler, executive director of Turning Point Ministries, she found healing herself in the Recovery program Real Hope offers women and is better able to meet the needs of the women and families she and her husband meet daily in their ministries.