(WASHINGTON) — Several African American religious leaders and political activists, who are opposed to abortion, gathered Tuesday in Washington and called for Congress to open hearings investigating abortion clinics in the wake of the conviction of controversial Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.
“Shut these houses of horror down now,” said Pastor Stephen Broden, Senior Pastor of Fair Park Bible Fellowship in Dallas.
“This is not an anomaly,” Star Parker, the founder of Center for Urban Renewal and Education, said during a press conference at the National Press Center. She said, “This is just the beginning, for the black community to speak out very aggressively about what has been happening in our community.”
Gosnell was found guilty Monday of first degree murder in three of four infant deaths. Gosnell was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a female patient who was given a lethal dose of sedatives and pain killers in 2009. Gosnell was accused of performing late-term abortions on four babies who were born alive, but were then allegedly killed by Gosnell.
Gosnell, 72, could face the death penalty and jurors will begin hearing testimony on May 21 to determine if they will condemn him to death row.
Rev. Arnold M. Culbreath of ProtectingBlackLife.org said, “Abortion is the number one killer of black America…We are being targeted by Planned Parenthood.” He said that 79 percent of surgical abortion facilities are “intentionally placed within walking distance” of African American communities.
“Dr. Gosnell is not an aberration, there are many other unethical” clinics, he added.
The speakers were critical of groups such as the NAACP and the Urban League. Broden said, “We are aware of the fact that our leadership have failed us on this issue.”
Pastor Luke J. Robinson, Pastor of Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church in Frederick, Md., said, “Where is the Congressional Black Caucus? Where is the NAACP? Where is the president? Where is those who have a sense of right and wrong? I am asking that Congress move immediately to investigate the abortion clinics.”
Parker said the groups plan to hold a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio