Bibles Fill Former Home Of Coast Abortion Clinic

When Dr. Booker stopped performing abortions at his Gulfport office, Temple Baptist Church bought the property. Church members tore down the fence that enclosed the complex. And then they welcomed God into a building that once housed death.

The Bible, Education and Missionary Service ships the word of God to missionaries in 80 countries. The headquarters for this church program is the same building where Dr. Booker once performed abortions. As Teresa Forrester walked toward the office, the pro life supporter proclaimed, "There is no more death here, praise God."

Forrester was one of the people who protested outside the clinic until March 2, 1998. That's when Temple Baptist Church took over the building, and ended the abortions.

"Oh I can only praise God, because it isn't happening anymore," she said. "This building where once life was taken here now life is given, the word of God is given out. So I can't do nothing but rejoice."

As volunteers box up the bibles, they occasionally look up at a wall and see a fish symbol made out of barbed wire. It's a piece of the barbed wire that circled the building when it was still an abortion clinic.

"We want to remember where we came from," Forrester said. "This building came from a really evil source. I mean babies were being murdered."

Forrester said that when Dr. Booker was here, he performed abortions in a corner room of his Three Rivers Road complex. That room now has two old protest signs in it, as well as 18,000 boxed up bibles.

On the 30th anniversary of Roe versus Wade, Teresa Forrester was proud to say the Gulfport building that once symbolized death was now filled with life.

"It's open. It's free for everybody to come in if they want to come see what we're doing," said Forrester. "There is nobody holding anybody back if they want to come in now."

State health department records indicate that in 2001, 3,566 abortions were performed in Mississippi. The agency doesn't have abortion totals from last year.