A coalition of pro-life advocates from across southeastern Virginia recently gathered in front of a new Planned Parenthood clinic in Virginia Beach, Va. to raise their voices together opposing abortions.
The facility is located next to a minority neighborhood -- something pro-life proponents argue is not just a coincidence.
The scorching summer sun did not stop the pro-life group from singing and praying. Drivers even showed their support, honking their horns as they drove past the pro-life demonstration.
One woman even felt compelled to stop, turn around and drive back to the scene as she drove by the rally.
Dozens of pro-life advocates lined the sidewalk directly across the street from the newly constructed clinic. They hoped their presence sent the clinic's administration a message even before it opened. They also wanted to encourage women to choose life.
"I think the power of prayer is undeniable," said Peter DiNardo of the organization Hampton Roads for Life. "We're calling God down now to make a difference in this city and this community and hopefully preventing this place from even opening."
"We want them to hear that we know that this is killing babies. We want the word to get out that they're killing babies," said the organization's Frances Bouton. "It's against God."
Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has been on the front lines of the abortion debate for several decades. She led the crowd in prayer against the procedures that will be performed at the new clinic.
"Father, we pray right now for an end to abortion in this territory, in this land, right now in Virginia Beach area," King prayed.
"I really wanted to come to appeal to everybody that's to the north, south, east and west of this clinic -- if you have any conscience at all and any heart just please support the effort to get this facility closed," she told the crowd of supporters.
King is not surprised about the clinic's location on the Virginia Beach street known as Newtown Road.
"This clinic is very close to low income communities, minority folk black folks, hispanics and that's generally the case," King said. "Way over 50 percent of all Planned Parenthood facilities are in minority neighborhoods, or places where people have issues with poverty. And I always say Jesus fed the poor. Jesus didn't kill the poor -- so aborting babies is not going to help poverty."
"As a man of color it really bothers me to comprehend what they're doing and trying to do," said Hampton Roads for Life's LeRoy Hardy. "And for us not to understand that and be part of doing something to prevent it is very troubling."
Planned Parenthood says the new clinic is scheduled to open in July.