When it comes to pro-life demonstrations against abortion clinics, Charlotte, North Carolina is ground zero. For the last several years, the city is known for its daily and passionate protests against a local abortion center. So, it came as quite a shock when Planned Parenthood opened a large, new abortion clinic in a historically African American neighborhood with little warning. Community leaders were outraged, and many aren’t taking the abortion business’s latest infiltration into their community quietly.

“We’re opposing Planned Parenthood’s expansion,” Rev. Kevrick McKain said to the Daily Citizen in an exclusive interview. He is a representative of the Douglass Leadership Institute (DLI), a national faith-based grassroots organization that exists to “educate, equip and empower faith-based leaders to embrace and apply biblical principles to life and in the marketplace.” DLI has a specific emphasis on the sanctity of human life, free markets and limited government.

On June 15th, DLI plans to hold a march, prayer and a press event in front of the new Planned Parenthood location. There will be at least 100 African American men there supporting life, which is a bit unusual but critically important. About 54% of all of Mecklenburg County abortions, where Charlotte is located, are completed on African American women, who only make up about 32.8% of the population. It’s a startling discrepancy and will likely continue as Planned Parenthood starts advertising and completing abortions.

“A lot of African American women are going to abortion clinics because their boyfriends or their husbands are telling them that, ‘Hey, we’re not going to help you, get rid of the child,’” Kevrick said. “We think it’s very significant to have leading pastors in the city who will take a stand and say that there is another way and there are places of refuge where women can go.” 

Unfortunately, DLI and other pro-life leaders in the city have a lot working against them. In addition to the new Planned Parenthood, there are nine other abortion clinics in the state, two of which are already in Charlotte. Opening up a new Planned Parenthood that could complete abortions is excessive, especially the way it was done.

In order to avoid demonstrations by the passionate pro-life community in the city, who have delayed building plans of other abortion centers, Planned Parenthood opened up the clinic under the name of a shell corporation. Donations could only be contributed through a password protected page, further concealing their operations. As a result of this rather deceptive practice, most people in the city didn’t know Planned Parenthood was expanding its facility until a month before the doors opened.

“Traditionally Charlotte has not had large-scale Planned Parenthood facilities,” Kevrick said. “For them to go from zero to 100 and have the president of the organization in Charlotte for the ribbon cutting ceremony, it really is startling to see the resources and the extent that they’ve gone to have a facility in Charlotte. That’s why it’s really important to get the body of Christ together.”

DLI has already met with over 30 minority churches and hopes to eventually connect with about 70. 

“Some of the leading pastors are a part of this outreach,” Kevrick said. “Including Victory Christian Center, which is one of the largest African American churches in the city. They are right out in front in terms of speakers, support and volunteers.” 

In addition to the march, Victory Christian Center and others have been contributing to canvasing operation to educate the community. So far, they’ve put out 30,000 door hangers in a local African-American neighborhood discussing Planned Parenthood’s history of racism and eugenics. The response has been largely positive.

“Unique and unprecedented,” that’s how Kevrick described this gathering of pastors, community leaders and men from the African-American community. Planned Parenthood thought that by concealing its new clinic that the community would be more receptive, but they couldn’t be more wrong. DLI and other African-American pro-life leaders are gearing up for an historic fight to save preborn lives from abortion in Charlotte.

Photo from the Douglas Leadership Institute