It’s just a small, unassuming medical building nestled in an older residential part of Portland, Oregon. Commuters who stopped for seconds at the blinking light on the corner of NE 25th and Lovejoy Street barely noticed the sparsely landscaped Lovejoy SurgiCenter. But over the years, tens of thousands of women approached the front steps to the clinic, where a pregnant woman could become “un-pregnant.”
In the past, this sleepy corner has been alive with action: people holding signs, little pockets of prayer, sidewalk counselors asking the women to consider other options, often directing them to local pregnancy care centers. One man, Doc Hite, would show up almost daily for many hours even into his late 90s, holding a sign and offering help. When asked why he would do so at his age he simply said, “These are babies.”
In the late 1980s and early 90s a small ministry called Advocates for Life brought groups of volunteers to peacefully block access to the clinic by sitting in front of the doors. Two of those volunteers were Randy Alcorn and myself, Ron Norquist. On those days, the corner of 25th and Lovejoy was a busy one: there were police cars, handcuffed prolifers being dragged into waiting police vans, frustrated clinic workers who wanted to get on with their business, and women waiting for the doors to clear so they could get their abortion procedure. The invisible ones were the pre-born children carried by their mothers into that place of death.
For years prolife advocates prayed that God would do what they couldn’t: close it down. They waited and trusted and advocated for those who had no voice.
Then came word in January 2021 that after fifty years, Lovejoy was shutting its doors, ending its business as the largest abortion clinic in the State of Oregon. Local prolifers rejoiced, but their feelings remain mixed. Demand still exists, and in March, an abortion facility under the name The Lilith Clinic opened in downtown Portland and advertises abortions up to 22 weeks. Still, prolifers thank and praise the Author of Life, Jesus Christ, for hearing His people’s prayers that the building at 25th and Lovejoy would no longer house such evil.