PORTLAND — Concerned Christians who had prayed and held vigil for years against the loss of unborn life at the Lovejoy Surgicenter here were exultant when it closed in January after a half-century of operation.
But it didn’t take long for them to be presented with a new local focus for their concerns.
Only six weeks after the Lovejoy Surgicenter shut its doors, a new late-term abortion business has opened in downtown Portland, aiming to replace it. And the pro-life stalwarts who had so long opposed Lovejoy immediately shifted their prayers and efforts to see the new facility closed.
The Lilith Clinic opened its doors on March 19 on the ninth floor of the 511 Building on Southwest 10th Avenue. It offers abortions through 22 weeks, which Oregon Right to Life notes is an age when babies can survive with medical care outside their mother’s wombs.
Lilith is owned by Charlie Browne, a Seattle-area obstetrician and gynecologist. According to Oregon Right to Life, Browne is “an associate of infamous late-term abortion doctor LeRoy Carhart” and has performed abortions at various clinics nationally, including his own All Women’s Clinic in Seattle. That clinic advertises abortions up to 26 weeks.
The Lilith Clinic is the first independent abortion clinic to open in Oregon in more than two decades. In an interview with Portland Monthly, a consultant for the clinic confirmed that Lilith also will train medical residents in abortion procedures.
During the annual Oregon March for Life in Salem on April 17, fliers about a strategy against The Lilith Clinic were distributed by a pro-life group, Precious Children of Portland. In addition to listing prayer as the first step, the group’s other suggestions included:
•Signing up at 40daysforllife.com/portland for the next 40 Days for Life campaign of peaceful vigils outside abortion centers, which will run from late September through early November;
•Joining in handing out fliers outside the Lilith site from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays;
•Sending emails to the Menashe family, owners of the 511 Building, to express dismay about the new clinic operating there; •Emailing state legislators to indicate the level of concern regarding the clinic.
•Viewing information on the Facebook page sponsored by the pro-life group at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Portland.
Precious Children of Portland can be reached on email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
“The passion we felt for helping Lovejoy’s patients has not lessened,” ORTL Executive Director Lois Anderson stated in the agency’s current newsletter. “Pro-lifers from across Oregon will not rest simply because of a changed name and location. The women and girls who come to the Lilith Clinic are still important to us, and so are their children.”