Timeline of the Southwest Coalition for Life

September 3, 2014

“Whole Woman’s Health” comes to Las Cruces

Following the temporary enforcement of the 2014 Texas bill HB2, the Texas abortion chain “Whole Woman’s Health” closed in Austin, TX, and moved to Las Cruces, NM, boasting that by leaving Texas, they could now accept Medicaid and offer same-day abortions without restrictions to women in Southern New Mexico, El Paso, and Juarez.

September 3, 2014

September 15, 2014

El Paso helps Las Cruces Launch 40 Days for Life

With the help of Gaby Federico-Avila from El Paso, the community of Las Cruces organized its first 40 Days for Life campaign in less than 2 weeks and launched 10 days early to begin praying on Day 1 of the planned “grand opening” of the abortion center.

September 15, 2014

October 11, 2014

Las Cruces Begins “March of the Crosses” as Abortion Facility Opening Is Delayed

As volunteers formed an unbroken chain of prayer and fasting from 6AM to 10PM each day for more than 40 days straight, the opening of the abortion center was delayed by almost 40 days, while the pro-life community began their first March of the Crosses in front of the new abortion center in honor of Las Cruces being “The City of the Crosses.”

October 11, 2014

October 21, 2014

Abortion Center Opens 3 Days After Training of Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Despite an invalid business permit, the “Whole Woman’s Health” facility begins scheduling abortions, but not before Las Cruces resident Martha Beasley had already started training volunteers as Sidewalk Advocates for Life, to reach out to women going to the abortion center, which was located just 50 feet behind Dion’s Pizza on Lohman Avenue in Las Cruces.

October 21, 2014

November 3, 2014

Plans Announced to Start Full-Time Nonprofit

With the abortion center now open and harming women and children full-time, it was not enough to only respond part-time. Mark Cavaliere, who had started as the volunteer Communications Coordinator, announced plans to form a full-time nonprofit initially called “Las Cruces for Life” at this first 40 Days for Life closing rally, which featured Christian singer & songwriter Caitlin Jane.

November 3, 2014

March 7, 2015

Spring 2015 Vigil Sees Crowds of 150-300 People Regularly Gathering in Prayerful Protest

More churches and volunteers continue to join the constant prayer vigil on the sidewalk, often led by various local clergy including Bishop Oscar Cantu. The organizing team begins learning about the full-time Coalition for Life model which started in College Station, TX and had been replicated in cities such as Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and St. Louis.

March 7, 2015

June 12, 2015

The Coalition for Life is Incorporated in New Mexico

With guidance from Brian Westbrook of the Coalition for Life St. Louis, the “Coalition for Life of Las Cruces” is formed with founding board members of Greg Goldblatt, Martha Beasley, Kim Shipton, Karin Dahlin, Lydia Webster, Emily Padilla, and Mark Cavaliere.

June 12, 2015

September 22, 2015

Sidewalk Advocates Begin Outreach Inspired by the St. Louis Method Amid Fall 2015 Campaign

After learning more about the Coalition for Life model and the St. Louis Method of sidewalk outreach, Martha Beasley and Sidewalk Advocates in Las Cruces begin trying different strategies due to the logistical situation of the abortion center which made outreach to women very difficult.

September 22, 2015

May 15, 2016

Support Raised During Spring 2016 Campaign to Begin Full-Time Strategy & Outreach

In 2016, Mark Cavaliere began sharing the vision and raising support for a full-time Coalition for Life from the Las Cruces community. In May 2016 he was able to quit his job to begin full-time strategy and outreach as the Executive Director and sole employee of the Coalition for Life.

May 15, 2016

September 30, 2016

Fifth & Final Fall 2016 Campaign in Las Cruces Fills Every Hour of 40 Days for Life

Now with a full-time focus, this fifth and final 40 Days for Life campaign in Las Cruces sees participants double and every hour covered in an unbroken chain of prayer and fasting.

September 30, 2016

December 1, 2016

Inaugural Fundraising Banquet to Expand Full-Time Work

The first kickoff banquet for the Coalition for Life raised $83,385 and featured David Bereit, Founder of the global 40 Days for Life movement, who stated, “With this level of full-time focus, I would not be surprised to see the Las Cruces abortion facility closed in very short order.”

December 1, 2016

January 1, 2017

Las Cruces Abortion Facility Closed!

Just 30 days later, after 8 months of full-time outreach, and 26 months after the facility opened, the “Whole Woman’s Health” abortion center shut it’s doors for the last time, stating financial trouble for “suddenly not getting enough patients.”

January 1, 2017

March 1, 2017

Spring 2017 Campaign Moved to Santa Teresa, NM

Realizing that women in crisis were now just driving to the next nearest abortion facility, Mark Cavaliere challenged Las Cruces, “If you can do 40 days, can you do 40 miles?” and moved the next campaign to the abortion center in Santa Teresa, NM. The kickoff featured 40 Days for Life president Shawn Carney who visited in the national 40 Days for Life bus.

March 1, 2017

April 23, 2017

Coalition for Life Rebranded, Partners with El Paso & Registers in Texas

After partnering with pro-life ministries in El Paso including House of Hope, and Pregnancy & Fatherhood Solutions, the Coalition for Life registered in Texas and expanded our vision to helping the entire Borderland become abortion-free, relaunching as the “Southwest Coalition for Life” and updating our logo to reflect not only “Las Cruces” but Christ’s love and Divine Mercy to every person considering or harmed by abortion. In the same year, the Coalition for Life also helped House of Hope relaunch as Guiding Star El Paso.

April 23, 2017

September 29, 2017

Fall 2017 “United Southwest” Campaign Expands Vigils to Include Hill Top in El Paso

In addition to the vigil in Santa Teresa, NM, the Coalition for Life was asked to help coordinate the 40 Days for Life vigil at Hill Top in El Paso, which had been participating in 40 Days for Life since the first nationally coordinated campaign in 2007.

September 29, 2017

November 30, 2017

Her Care Connection Program Announced at 2nd Banquet with Abortion Survivor Claire Culwell

Our second banquet, now at Grace Gardens in Santa Teresa, raised $112,005 and announced the launch of our “Her Care Connection” program, which started as a collaborative network of pregnancy help resources, to help connect abortion-vulnerable women and couples to the free quality care they need to choose life.

November 30, 2017

January 21, 2018

2018 Southwest March for Life

In 2018, the Southwest Coalition for Life partnered with the Catholic Diocese of El Paso to help coordinate the Southwest March for Life, which featured Dr. Monique Ruberu, a pro-life Ob/Gyn and 40 Days for Life leader from Philadelphia.

January 21, 2018

February 14, 2018

First Part-Time Employees Hired During Spring 2018 “Unbroken Chain” Campaign

As both support and workload increased, the Coalition for Life hired its first additional part-time employees beginning with Dr. Claire Galin who helped begin development of the initial internship program while Mark Cavaliere focused on coordinating 40 Days for Life vigils at both Hill Top and Santa Teresa.

February 14, 2018

June 12, 2018

Launched Sidewalk Internship Program with Office Behind Hill Top Abortion Center

On our “Blastoff Webcast” in 2018, we announced and raised $54,770 toward our staffed sidewalk outreach internship program in the model of the Coalition for Life St. Louis. On Good Friday 2018 we moved into a temporary secret headquarters location on the same block right behind the Hill Top abortion center which we called “Joselito’s” in honor of St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, the boy martyr killed during the Cristero War for his faith.

June 12, 2018

July 14, 2018

2nd Borderland Abortion Center “Reproductive Services” Closed After 41 Years

After working with a Texas-based pro-life organization who helped file a complaint based on inspection reports from “Reproductive Services,” the smaller of the two abortion businesses in El Paso closed after 41 years in operation.

July 14, 2018

September 22, 2018

Jessica Sifuentes Hired As Coordinator for Fall 2018 “Knees on the Ground” Campaign

During the Summer of 2018, Jessica Sifuentes was hired initially to help coordinate the Fall 40 Days for Life vigil in Santa Teresa, and would go on to become the vigil coordinator at Planned Parenthood, Program Coordinator, and eventually Director of Operations. Meanwhile, Sara Diana Ibanez was hired to lead the Hill Top vigil, where she would continue to lead the last four vigils at that location.

September 22, 2018

October 13, 2018

Planned Parenthood Moves Into Former Abortion Center

Unfortunately, just a few months after the closure of “Reproductive Services,” we learned that the nation’s largest abortion corporation “Planned Parenthood” was moving into the same building, returning to El Paso for the first time since 2009.

October 13, 2018

November 29, 2018

Full-Time Staff Announced at 3rd Annual “Laugh for Life” Banquet

Up until this point, all staff other than our Executive Director had been part-time. At our 2018 Banquet, we announced Jessica Sifuentes as our full-time Program Coordinator, who would soon go on to become Director of Operations. The banquet raised $214,891 and featured Former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson, Dr. Joe Pojman of Texas Alliance for Life, and “God’s Comic” Brad Stine.

November 29, 2018

January 20, 2019

2019 Southwest March for Life in El Paso & Las Cruces

In 2019 we helped coordinate two marches, one with the Catholic Diocese of El Paso featuring Former Planned Parenthood Director Ramona Trevino where thousands marched and gathered to pray around the Hill Top abortion facility in El Paso. The next day we had a second march in Las Cruces featuring Director of the New Mexico Alliance for Life Elisa Martinez.

January 20, 2019

March 6, 2019

Spring 2019 “Love Them Both” Campaign Includes Third Vigil Location at Planned Parenthood

Jessica Sifuentes coordinated the first vigil outside the new Planned Parenthood facility, along with staffed coordinators Ester Garcia in Santa Teresa, and Sara Diana Ibanez at Hill Top, together leading simultaneous 40 Days for Life vigils outside all three abortion locations in the Borderland.

March 6, 2019

June 6, 2019

New Office and Funds Raised for “Save the Storks” Bus

We moved into a small temporary office just 36 inches from Planned Parenthood where we held our 2019 “Summer for Life” webcast and raised over $120,000 plus a $75,000 grant towards a mobile medical bus. Later in the summer we were also blessed with a private $40,000 donation for the ultrasound machine following a “Summer for Life” benefit concert.

June 6, 2019

September 25, 2019

Four United Vigil Locations including NMSU During Fall 2019 “Planned Personhood” Campaign

This campaign oversaw not just three but FOUR vigils across the united Borderland, with 40 Days for Life being led by Sara Diana Ibanez at Hill Top, Jessica Sifuentes at Planned Parenthood, Monica Delgado at Santa Teresa, and a special prayer vigil at the NMSU campus in Las Cruces which was made possible by Ann Garcia working with Marcos Lares of Students for Life at NMSU.

September 25, 2019

November 14, 2019

4th Annual “Save the Storks” Banquet on El Paso Giving Day

Our 4th Annual Banquet featured a demo Storks Bus visiting from Albuquerque to see an example of what we would be getting the following year, as well as Paul Isaacs of Save the Storks, an organization which helps pro-life ministries obtain and run mobile ultrasound units. Combined with a unique matching grant through El Paso Giving Day, this banquet helped raise $250,150 to help hire and train our growing staff.

November 14, 2019

January 18, 2020

2020 Southwest March for Life With Kristan Hawkins

In January 2020 we partnered with the Catholic Diocese of El Paso as well as Students for Life at UTEP and NMSU who helped lead an amazing March for Life featuring Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America, who joined thousands in marching and praying around the Planned Parenthood facility in El Paso. We also were very excited to announce the amazing Proclamation of Sanctity of Human Life Day from the Mayor of El Paso.

January 18, 2020

January 24, 2020

Borderland Represented at National March for Life in Washington, D.C.

After our local March for Life, representatives from the Southwest Coalition for Life, Guiding Star El Paso, and local pro-life candidate Patrick Hernandez-Cigarruista represented the Borderland and El Paso Proclamation at the National March for Life in commemoration of the tragic court decision of Roe vs Wade.

January 24, 2020

February 22, 2020

Ribbon-Cutting & Blessing of New Headquarters at Spring 2020 Kickoff

At the kickoff rally for our Spring 2020 “You Can Do It!” campaign, we gathered with guest speaker Paula K. Peyton for the ribbon-cutting and open house of our new larger Coalition for Life office just three doors down from Planned Parenthood, which was blessed by Bishop Mark Seitz. Brian Mott coordinated the Planned Parenthood vigil, Rocio Herrejon coordinated the Santa Teresa vigil, and Sara Diana Ibanez coordinated what would be the last-ever at Hill Top.

February 22, 2020

March 25, 2020

Hill Top Abortion Center Closed and Never Reopens

After seeing promising signs of impending closure for several months, such as realtors and property assessors visiting Hill Top, the facility closed following Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order to stop all non-essential medical procedures for one month in response to COVID. Instead, on March 22, abortionist Franz Theard moved his abortion business entirely to his second location in Santa Teresa, NM. On March 25, we witnessed Theard and his staff transport a limping woman from his Santa Teresa facility in her own vehicle to a hospital in El Paso. We filed a complaint which launched a formal investigation from the Texas Medical Board. After this, his Hill Top location in El Paso never reopened. This was confirmed later in the Summer and finally announced publicly on September 19.

March 25, 2020

April 14, 2020

Hero Fund Launched on Spring 2020 Webcast

As the COVID pandemic progressed, we initially saw a dramatic increase in women seeking abortion at the Santa Teresa abortion center, with women driving even 800 miles from Houston because the increased fears and uncertainties of coronavirus which compounded crisis pregnancy situations. In response, we held our “Quarantined Webcast” which raised $72,184 benefiting our outreach and our new Hero Fund program, which is a financial assistance program to help pregnant abortion-vulnerable moms impacted by COVID.

April 14, 2020

September 1, 2020

Abortionist Franz Theard Has “Jane Doe” Arrested After He Botches Her Abortion

On September 1, we witnessed “Jane Doe” who returned to Women’s Reproductive Clinic of Sunland Park with the body of her deceased baby who was delivered at home following a botched surgical abortion. Jane went to the clinic in physical pain and emotional panic in order to get help, answers, and her medical records. The abortionist, Franz Theard, refused to speak with Jane and instead fled the scene in his car after instructing police be called on her. The abortion facility refused to provide answers, a refund, or medical records, then illegally took custody of her baby’s body, which is when police arrested both Jane and her husband when she became emotionally distraught. Our Coalition for Life staff on the scene were able to get Jane released from jail, ensure she got medical treatment, and connected her to our attorney at Abortion on Trial for free legal representation. After nearly 7 months of legal battles, the criminal charges against Jane Doe were dismissed and she is now filing her own lawsuit for medical malpractice against Franz Theard, at absolutely no cost to her.

September 1, 2020

September 10, 2020

“Save the Storks” Bus is Delivered & Intern Program is Rebranded Under Her Care Connection Program

Two years after the idea was announced and one year after the funds were raised, our “Save the Storks” mobile ultrasound bus is delivered. We began the process of training a Nurse Manager and two sonographers, working towards getting approved under a Medical Director, and the process of getting medical malpractice insurance to offer quality licensed medical care for abortion-vulnerable women and couples. We also rebranded our intern program under our Her Care Connection program to match the quality and professionalism of our medical unit.

September 10, 2020

October 8, 2020

Hill Top Memorial During Fall 2020 Campaign

Our Fall 2020 campaign was called “Pray Outside So They Can #StayInside” highlighting the greater threat of abortion and importance of remaining active even in spite of COVID. Rebekah Vasquez coordinated the Planned Parenthood vigil and Frank Torres coordinated the Santa Teresa vigil. During this campaign we had a memorial for the estimated 40,000 who lost their lives at the Hill Top abortion center. After an opening song, prayer, Scripture, and sermon, the story of baby Joseph Thomas was shared by Karen, a long-time Sidewalk Advocate who was present the day his remains were discovered on the ground outside Hill Top on Good Friday 2011. Testimonies were shared by Ester Garcia of Rachel’s Vineyard, and Jackie along with her son Andy after choosing life two years ago. A wreath included a framed print of the remains of Joseph Thomas found nine years ago which were denied a proper memorial or burial, and the ribbons read, “In Memory of Joseph Thomas and all babies lost 1984-2020.” Two infant caskets were donated. One from Trappist Caskets for Joseph Thomas which contained the photo of his remains. The second was donated from Perches Funeral Home in El Paso. Each person was invited to pray and place one rose petal in the casket, filling the casket with 400 petals, representing approximately 100 babies lot per petal. After praying, each person then placed their roses on the adjacent fence. After a blessing from Fr. Mark, and praying a Litany in Response to Abortion, the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard held a brief ceremony to close the caskets as taps was played on a bugle. The Knights then carried the caskets away in procession. After this, our new Save the Storks Mobile Ultrasound Unit which is named after Joseph Thomas and was blessed by Fr. Mark as an ongoing and life-saving memorial in his name.

October 8, 2020

December 1, 2020

Storks Bus Introduced at 5th Annual “Rejoice!” Banquet

Our 5th annual banquet celebrated the closure of the Hill Top abortion center, for which we presented the “Fr. Richard Thomas Servant of Life” award to long-time El Paso pro-life advocates Gabriela Avila and Karen Cates. We also introduced our very own Save the Storks bus, raised $283,845 and heard from special guests Sister Dede Byrne and David Bereit. The El Paso community also presented Mark Cavaliere with a “Protector of Women & Children” Award.

December 1, 2020

January 14, 2021

Mobile Medical Services Approved & Launched in Texas

In January 2020 we were finally fully approved under our Texas Medical Director Dr. Laura Gutierrez Ob/Gyn, as well as our insurance to begin medical diagnostic procedures in the state of Texas. Parking in our front driveway, just 90 feet from the Planned Parenthood abortion center, we have now been able to offer women better-quality medical services for free, leading to numerous abortion-vulnerable women being empowered to choose life for their babies.

January 14, 2021

January 23, 2021

2021 Life Caravan & Texas Rally for Life

Instead of our usual Southwest March for Life event, El Paso instead joined a historic statewide Texas Rally for Life with a local pro-life caravan organized by Students for Life at UTEP, which took place in El Paso simultaneously with a caravan in Austin during a statewide livestream, including a segment featuring El Paso from in front of the closed Hill Top abortion center.

January 23, 2021

February 16, 2021

Spring 2021 “Keep Running the Race” Campaign

The theme of our Spring 2021 40 Days for Life vigil was “Keep Running the Race That Is Set Before You With Endurance” from Hebrews 12:1 which was coordinated at both Planned Parenthood and Santa Teresa by our now full-time coordinator Rebekah Vasquez, which also featured a first-time vigil coordinated in Silver City, NM by Lucia Carter.

February 16, 2021

March 25, 2021

Mobile Medical Services Approved in New Mexico

On Palm Sunday, during the final hour of our 40 Days for Life Spring 2021 campaign, we announced that on March 25 — the Feast of the Annunciation, exactly 9 months before Christmas, when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary her conception of the Messiah in her womb — we were approved with a second medical director for New Mexico, Dr. Reyes Cuevas, in addition to our Texas medical director. This now allows us to finally bring our Medical Ultrasound Bus outside the Santa Teresa abortion facility, which performs the highest volume of abortions.

March 25, 2021

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