ALEXANDRIA (KALB) – A pro-life organization released a document to the public on October 4, 2018, entitled “Louisiana Abortionist Now Open for Business in Alexandria.” The headline has sparked controversy and confusion in the area.
Louisiana Right to Life named a local physician who operates three clinics. They are located in Alexandria, Opelousas, and New Orleans. In the detailed press release, the group questions whether Dr. Rashonda Dean, M.D. plans to open an abortion clinic in central Louisiana.
Pastor Brian Gunter of Louisiana Right to Life writes the following:
Dr. Rashonda Dean, a resident of Alexandria and prolific Louisiana abortionist, is now open for business at her clinic, Cenla Total Care, located at 3807 Prescott Road in Alexandria. I am concerned that she may already be performing abortions in our community, or she may plan to do so in the near future.
CenLa Total Care’s Dr. Dean is a resident of New Orleans and services clients in Alexandria about once a month on Saturdays. She said "I do not, have not ever performed abortions in Alexandria, Louisiana. It is not my goal and it has never been my goal to provide abortions there.”
Her colleague and business partner at CenLa Total Care, Dr. Sonji Chinagozi, M.D., supports that notion and said, “"This clinic will never be licensed to perform abortions we never have and we never will."
However, the organization still has a rally planned across from CenLa Total Care on Friday, October 19. It is being hosted by the neighboring clinic and personal friends of Dr. Dean and Dr. Chinagozi, Primary Care Specialists.
"You're right across the street and these are physicians that Dr. Sanji and myself we know them personally," said Dr. Dean. “I felt that why couldn't you just come across the street? Why couldn't you just call me or call Dr. Sanji and ask us? Hey we've heard this rumor is this true? Is this something you all plan to add to your services?"
"Our children have gone to school together we've actually gone to church together, so more than just an associate," said Dr. Chinagozi.
But regardless of the lack of communication between the neighboring clinics, local pastor and doctor, Gregory Bevels, M.D. of Primary Care Specialists stands steadfast in his faith. “We're basically getting together and getting the community together for a time of prayer and community awareness to say we simply don't want abortion clinics in our community," said Dr. Bevels.
But both Dr. Dean and Dr. Chinagozi believe the prayer rally is misplaced. "I don't even perform abortions at that clinic, and if you're going to protest me for something I'm doing. Do it at the place where I'm actually performing the service," said Dr. Dean.
The event is scheduled on a day when Dr. Chinagozi is servicing clients and Dr. Dean will not be in town. "I feel more like I'm collateral damage. Maybe it wasn't the intent, but they know I'm here," said Dr. Chinagozi. "I'm concerned about the children seeing graphic images if there are going to be any on posters or things like that, or getting shouted at, and the parents being blindsided."
"This is a peaceful prayer rally. I don't envision people having signs. We're not protesting," said Dr. Bevels.
When asked if he still considered Dr. Dean to be a friend, Dr. Bevels said, “I never stopped. My values and my morals that I stand on and my beliefs doesn't make me not be a friend to someone. Again, unconditional love doesn't befriend someone just because of their ideas."
The prayer rally is will be held on Friday, Oct. 19 at 12:30 p.m. This event will be hosted by Dr. Gregory Bevels and Dr. Sharifa Baker at their clinic, Primary Care Specialists, located across the street from Cenla Total Care at 3802 Prescott Road.
Also speaking at this event will be Dr. Kathy Allen, State Director of Louisiana Black Advocates for Life.