When the notices first went up about a new construction project across the street, Bishop Darryl Husband and his congregation were curious. There has been a lot of new construction in the Church Hills area, a historically African American community in Richmond, Virginia, and they were hoping that this latest venture could be a culinary art school, a new medical clinic or a mixed-use residence. But after doing some detailed research, the church administrator discovered something horrifying.
The construction project isn’t for a culinary art school but for a new 10,000 square foot Planned Parenthood facility.
“Planned Parenthood snuck up on us,” Bishop Husband, the pastor of Mount Olivet Church, said in an interview with The Daily Citizen. “Our City Council person didn’t share that with us. We didn’t hear about it from the builders. I was disappointed and displeased that no one had shared with me that Planned Parenthood was building a facility across the street despite all the partnerships we’ve had with them.”
It was especially frustrating since a local pregnancy resource center (PRC) that Bishop Husband and the church supports has been trying unsuccessfully to relocate in that same area.
“No one has opened the doors for the PRC to even build or house a facility on 25th street,” Bishop Husband said. “All of a sudden this comes up, and Planned Parenthood has found a place. We have been in some conversation, and if push came to shove, the PRC is welcome to house their facility in our church.”
He means it, and it is especially important now as the abortion business sets up shop in the neighborhood.
“I believe this, every time Planned Parenthood raises a structure, we should think like McDonalds does or Burger King. If McDonalds builds a building, Burger King is going to try and build one somewhere nearby because they believe they need to be competitive. I believe that about Planned Parenthood. Every time Planned Parenthood builds a structure somewhere, there needs to be a pregnancy resource center on the block before and the block after it. Young ladies and young men need to know that there is an alternative to what they are doing.”
Bishop Husband’s understanding and incredible passion for life comes from his own pain. As a young man, he was involved in abortion.
“I had participated in the abortion process with women,” Bishop Husband said. “There are personal children that I have that I won’t meet until I get to heaven. I’ve been a part of the (Democratic) party that promoted it and I never thought about it. I called it protecting my own interest.”
It wasn’t until he went to a pastors retreat in Washington D.C. and was shown a picture of when life begins in the womb that his perspective immediately changed. After that, Bishop Husband decided that protecting life would become an integral part of his ministry.
“I knew when I left the conference that I would never be the same again,” he said. “I would have to spend my time and my life talking about this issue and helping not just women. I know women are scarred from abortion, for life sometimes. But I also know that if any of those young men saw life in the womb, they could never be the same again either. They need to hear the story that you can change your life. You can help this pro-life cause and stop the murder of children in the womb and allow them the same chance in life that you’ve had.”
Planned Parenthood’s expansion in Richmond is just the latest from the abortion business. There has already been a new, large facility opened in Charlotte, North Carolina and another site will open up in November in Birmingham, Alabama blocks from the historic 16th Street Baptist Church. All are located within traditionally African American communities.
But hopefully Planned Parenthood may discover that these locations are not as profitable as they thought. I think that Planned Parenthood will find that simply being across the street from a pro-life church and ministry will encourage confused and hurting young women and men to perhaps think twice or even seek out spiritual guidance for their unplanned pregnancy. Passionate people like Bishop Husband and the congregation of Mount Olivet Church will be there to offer young women and men life, both for their child and for eternity.