Clinic Next Door Gets in Planned Parenthood's Face

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BOISE, Idaho -- For years, Boise's Planned Parenthood sat undisturbed and unchallenged in a quiet northern neighborhood. But in October, 2011, a new kid showed up on the block and presented a very big challenge.

The loud and proud pro-life Stanton Health Care Clinic moved in right next door to Planned Parenthood, posting big signs offering free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and other services that Planned Parenthood charges for.

"The strategic location we believe is key," Stanton founder Brandi Swindell said. "We want to get as close as possible to abortion-providers, specifically Planned Parenthood, so that girls truly have a choice."

As a longtime, prominent pro-life activist, Swindell is hoping this will be just the first of many such clinics built right in Planned Parenthood's face.

A Global Vision

"We are using Stanton Health Care here in Boise as a template," she told CBN News. "And it is our plan to see Stanton Health Cares pop up all over the nation, and even beyond."

The first Stanton affiliate just opened in California, and more may soon follow in Ireland and Australia, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.

Swindell has her own dreams for Planned Parenthood.

"We don't simply want to compete with Planned Parenthood, but that we could one day replace them," she said.

Swindell said the Stanton clinics offer free services in an effort to lure pregnant girls and women away from the abortion clinics.

"Free ultrasounds, first trimester prenatal care, baby supplies, maternity clothes, childbirth education classes, parenting classes. The list goes on and on," she said.

All this meant the world to single, 19-year-old Pattie, who asked not to have her last name used, last December when she took a home pregnancy test and discovered she might be pregnant.

She and her mother, residents of the Treasure Valley in which Boise sits, headed right for Planned Parenthood to get an ultrasound verification.

But Pattie ended up in tears there as Planned Parenthood demanded $150 for the ultrasound, money she just didn't have.

"I had barely $20 in my account to get the pregnancy test," Pattie told CBN News.

That was the start of what the Stanton Health Care people consider one of the first miracles they've seen since they moved next to Planned Parenthood. Just minutes before, a visiting Stanton board member from Washington, D.C., Rev. Pat Mahoney, was wrapping up a meeting inside Stanton with prayer.

"At the end of his prayer he stopped and he actually looked up at the clock," Swindell recalled.

"And he said, 'It's about 1:53. And, Lord, there may be a young woman in the Treasure Valley who is pregnant. It's an unexpected pregnancy,'" she continued. "'She may feel scared and alone and doesn't know what to do. And, Lord, she may even be on her way to Planned Parenthood, and we pray that You would somehow intervene and You would bring her into Stanton Health Care.'"

Moments later, Pattie's mother, despairing about her daughter's predicament inside Planned Parenthood, saw the signs for free ultrasounds next door at Stanton.

Swindell, Mahoney and everyone else in their meeting had just left Stanton's boardroom.

"Not even a minute later, our door opens and in comes a woman,"  Swindell recalled.

It was Pattie's mom, explaining about her daughter's situation: out of cash and crying next door at Planned Parenthood.

'I'm Going to Go Rescue Her'

Swindell recalled saying to the distraught mom, "You need to go in there and get her and bring her into Stanton."

"I will never forget her words. She said, 'I'm going to go rescue her,'" Swindell told CBN News,

Pattie and her mom left Planned Parenthood for Stanton and immediately felt a difference.

"I got like three hugs the minute I came in here," Pattie said. "They were just so happy to see me."

"That's the Holy Spirit," Swindell insisted. "That's the body of believers, the pro-life community coming together and actually showing love to these women."

Since then, Pattie's received so much care and free stuff for her coming baby, she can hardly wait for her Stanton visits.

"It's like Christmas Eve before I come here every single time," Pattie exclaimed.

That atmosphere at Stanton is saving lives.

"We've had seven walk-in saves: girls who have come in and they have chosen life for their babies," Swindell said.

Registered sonographer Jeanine Galitz believes the ultrasounds seal the deal. She described watching the pregnant women and girls getting the ultrasounds.

"It's amazing to see them just light up. And it's not like what you think of when you see a birthday cake or when you see flowers," Jeanine explained. "It's this deep-within light that comes up, and they're like, 'That is mine. What I see on the screen: that heartbeat, that's mine.'"

The miracle of such new life may mean more to Galitz than most. Galitz became the unexpected mother of three.

"They told me I'd never have children," she said. "And so, my kids are my miracles."

'He Was Fully Intact'

Stanton visitor and supporter Lareina Rodriguez is now pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage two years ago.

Two years ago, she and her husband saw their unborn 12-week-old, a perfectly formed little baby about two inches long.

"He was fully intact with arms and fingers. I could see his spine," Rodriguez recalled.

Rodriguez said she and her husband wept as they held the tiny unmoving body.

"We just could not stop marveling at the development of him at such an early stage," she said.

Rodriguez insisted anyone who saw that intricately formed little baby would know abortion doesn't just wipe out a blob of tissue.

"Any woman who is considering an abortion, really consider that there's a life in there," she said. "People do it because they don't believe it's wrong. But when they understand that it's a life, they'll understand that you're killing."

But next door at Planned Parenthood, they're not taking this challenge to abortion and their business lying down.

"We have gotten some of their internal memos and emails that they send to their donors and volunteers where they accuse Stanton of being a fake clinic," Swindell explained.

Galitz said that's laughable, noting the well-qualified and experienced sonographers, radiologists, and doctors working with Stanton.

"To say that this is make-believe is the furthest thing from the truth that I can think of," she said. 

Looking down somewhere around her knees, she said, "We are so far above board, the line is way down there."

Life for Babies, Jesus for Lives

CBN News tried repeatedly to get Planned Parenthood's comments for this story, including walking into the Boise clinic and requesting an interview, but they wouldn't talk.

"Planned Parenthood is not happy that Stanton is right next door because they're losing clients and they're going to lose money," Swindell said. "And Planned Parenthood is all about selling abortions."

But for those at Stanton, where all the staff are Christians, this isn't just about stopping abortion.

"It is our heart and our hope for women to choose life for their babies and that then they'd choose Jesus for their lives," Swindell said.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.