Texas religious leaders gathered Thursday to bless an abortion clinic and its staff as a judge considers whether to allow the state to ban brutal dismemberment abortions on live unborn babies.
The pro-abortion clergy prayed at the Whole Woman’s Health abortion facility in Fort Worth, Texas, blessing its staff and patients, saying prayers and singing “Hallelujah,” according to the Daily Caller.
The Texas abortion chain is one of the groups challenging the state dismemberment abortion ban. It also has a poor reputation for patient health and safety, racking up dozens of health and safety violations in the past decade. They include things like failures to properly sterilize equipment, rusty spots on medical equipment that had the “likelihood of causing infection,” rips in exam tables and .
Kentina Washington-Leapheart, the director of reproductive justice and sexuality education at the Religious Institute, said they chose to bless this particular abortion clinic because it sees a lot of minority women and women in poverty.
“Women seeking an abortion are largely women of faith. They’re not having an abortion in spite of their faith, it’s in many ways informing the decision they make,” Washington-Leapheart told the Texas Observer. “They have a God-given right to make decisions about their life.”
“There are progressive people of faith, even in Texas,” Washington-Leapheart continued. “We’re trying to say [the extreme right’s] narrative isn’t the only narrative related to faith.”
“When thinking about access, we have to think about how race and class impact access,” she said.
Whole Woman’s Health runs four abortion facilities in Texas and several others in Maryland, Minnesota and Illinois. It also recently applied to open a new abortion facility in Indiana. State inspection reports obtained by Texas Alliance for Life in 2013 and new inspection reports released this fall showed dozens of violations that threatened the health and safety of its patients, including lack of sterilization of abortion instruments, lack of an RN or LVN on staff, rusty suction machines and expired and unlabeled medications.