Pro-life mobile clinic parked beside Oregon Planned Parenthood facility gets local support

Stanton Healthcare's mobile medical clinic parked across the street from a Planned Parenthood.
Stanton Healthcare's mobile medical clinic parked across the street from a Planned Parenthood. | Courtesy of Stanton Healthcare

A pro-life mobile clinic parked alongside a Planned Parenthood facility in an Oregon city since last year has received considerable support from the community.

Stanton Healthcare, a pro-life pregnancy resource center based in Idaho, sent its 36-foot mobile clinic to Ontario, Oregon, the day that Planned Parenthood opened up an abortion facility there last year. 

The Planned Parenthood facility is located less than an hour from Boise and was opened in response to Idaho banning abortion in most circumstances, except for rape, incest, and life-threatening medical emergency for the mother, following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the U.S. Constitution doesn't confer a right to abortion. 

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The mobile clinic has remained in the area to provide healthcare services and alternatives to abortion, with the exception of recent months, when it left the area to be winterized and to undergo repairs.

The mobile clinic is slated to return to Ontario this week, a town on the border of Idaho.

In an interview with The Christian Post on Thursday, Stanton CEO Brandi Swindell said that the mobile clinic efforts have received support from the local community and a couple of nearby border towns in Idaho.

"We've been able to build just a beautiful collaboration with businesses, churches, individuals, all coming together to make sure that the needs of women are met there in Ontario," Swindell said.

"We started a prayerful presence out there in front of Planned Parenthood. There are sidewalk advocates that are out there, so it's really turned out to be a really beautiful campaign or initiative to stand with women."

Although the mobile clinic has not been present for the past couple of months, Swindell said her organization had used a shop in downtown Ontario to continue providing assorted resources to mothers and families. 

According to Swindell, the shop owner is normally out of town for the winter and gave Stanton Healthcare permission to use the shop for providing maternity resources.

"We actually had somebody there in the community in Ontario, who is a shop owner who absolutely loves what we're doing with Stanton, wants us in her community, who invited us to utilize her shop right there in downtown Ontario to set up a pop-up maternity and baby supply boutique," Swindell told CP.

"She said, 'You can use my shop free of charge' and she basically handed over the keys and said, 'You have my blessing; whenever you guys want to do a pop-up shop, you go ahead and set up maternity clothes, baby supplies, all the stuff you need.'"

"And so, at our baby boutique, we were able to do our pop-up boutiques and do that wellness aspect of our care specifically for those important things like diapers and wipes and baby clothes and maternity supplies, all that kind of stuff that's really critical."

By contrast, Swindell contends the Planned Parenthood clinic is struggling to maintain its business in the town as the local community is more conservative than other parts of the West Coast state.

"One thing that has definitely happened is that they do not have a lot of community support there in Ontario. They've had trouble keeping what would be typical operational hours and that's because they're not getting the staffing that they need," she told CP.

"There's been days where they've unexpectedly closed and what we've been able to find out, as far as we can tell, is that they're having real staffing issues. There's not this big energy to make Ontario an abortion headquarters."

Regarding their relationship with the neighboring abortion clinic, Swindell says officials with the local Planned Parenthood tried a couple of times to get the police to move their mobile clinic. However, those efforts have been unsuccessful, and "they have given up on that."

"The bottom line is Planned Parenthood in Ontario is not thriving. It's not. We think we've been a part of that. The community, people of good will, have been a part of that," Swindell added.

"And it's about standing with women. Instead of offering them the 'quick fix' of abortion, we need to offer them hope, we need to offer them quality medical services."

The Christian Post reached out to Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, the regional affiliate that oversees the Ontario abortion clinic, for their perspective on this story. However, they did not return comment by press time.

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