By Sarah Neely
[Sarah works for the CEC for Life and also for Operation Rescue.]
Tuscaloosa, AL — Yet another alarming change took place this week at West Alabama’s Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa, the state’s highest performing abortion facility.
Just a few months ago, the clinic made news when long-time owner Gloria Gray confirmed that she sold the clinic to Amanda Reyes, Executive Director of the Yellowhammer Fund. The Yellowhammer Fund is a non-profit that funds abortions in the state of Alabama. The organization made national news last year when they went from having just a few thousand dollars in the bank to receiving over $2 million dollars in donations. This was just after Alabama passed the Human Life Protection Act.
According to an article from AL.com, a few months later, YF’s own staff members expressed public concern over how the new funds were being spent, including the treasurer who later resigned her position over the concerns. Gloria Gray was also quoted in the article, revealing that Reyes had not reimbursed clinic owners for abortions as promised, and would not agree to a meeting with the three clinic owners in the state. In light of that, Gray suddenly agreeing to sell the clinic to Reyes just a year later seems unexpected.
Now Reyes is also replacing long-time abortionist Louis Payne, who retired at the end of July. His replacement looks to be Leah N. Torres, an aggressively outspoken abortionist who was issued a temporary medical license in Alabama on July 23, 2020.
Torres has over 26,000 followers on Twitter. In 2018, a tweet she posted made national news when the abortionist seemed to imply that she cut babies’ vocal chords during abortions, which would be both brutal and illegal. She later deleted the tweet (pictured below) and tried to clarify her comments, claiming she was referring to the umbilical cord. Torres also filed a civil suit against the Daily Caller — the first to publish the story — claiming that the news story caused her to lose her job.
At the time, Torres was working for Planned Parenthood Utah. David Daleiden, founder of the group that uncovered Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts, pointed out in response to the appalling tweet that his group didn’t investigate PP Utah because “their abortion doctors were the only ones who actually scared me.”
In December 2019, Live Action released a story about abortion workers coaching women to tell family members they had a miscarriage instead of a medical abortion. The article featured an interview with Torres during which she explains how she instructs women to cover up an abortion: “That’s why I can say, here, you’re gonna take this pill, go to the bathroom, have a bath. When you’re in there, place these pills in your vagina and then you’re gonna have a miscarriage and that’s horrible and tragic, but at least your family will understand.”
Earlier that year, Torres also made news a second time for tweeting “God performs way more abortions than I do.”
This is the abortionist who has recently obtained a license to abort babies in our state. As can be expected, her medical license in Utah expired in January 2020 and has not been renewed. Torres also still has a medical license in New Mexico, but it looks as though she aims to make Alabama her new place of steady employment. She was seen at the clinic this week and even introduced herself to sidewalk counselors, bringing them donuts and coffee. Time will tell how interested Torres truly is in dialoguing with pro-lifers on the sidewalk.
With such big changes happening, now is the time for Tuscaloosa citizens, especially, to be vigilant, unified and prayerful.
We encourage citizens to continue to pray that God closes the doors of this clinic for good, to pray for both Reyes and Torres, that they may come to know God and see the incredible value of every human life at every stage of development. We also pray for Gloria Gray and abortionist Louis Payne. Now that they are out of the industry, may God create a space for them to see His love and mercy and seek after repentance and forgiveness.
Note: An important announcement will be made in Tuscaloosa on August 15, 2020. Operation Rescue plans to report on that announcement when it happens, so stay tuned!