The Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives, an abortion clinic, is "having issues" complying with new safety regulations put in place last year by the Women's Health and Safety Act. Their proposed solution is to move into a new building, across the street from a middle school.
According to Live Action News, administrator Dalton Johnson has already purchased the building for $530,000. On May 19, 2014, he filed with the Alabama Department of Public Health, reports the Life Legal Defense Foundation(LLDF) for a change in its license to be able to move the clinic to the location that he purchased on Sparkman Drive in Huntsville.
Johnson has publicly stated that the clinic is not moving to Sparkman Drive, but AL.com reports that a Health Department official has confirmed the fact that the clinic is seeking state approval to move, across from the Ed White Middle School.
That proposed move has some in the local community upset, even more so than if it were relocating anywhere else.
Opponents have been talking with residents of the community who had no idea that this was taking place under their noses. Some have said that they are very uncomfortable with their children walking and playing so close to such a controversial facility. Some have stated that it could create a hostile learning environment for the students. For some, it certainly conflicts with their personal or religious beliefs.
There are zoning issues with the move. The former occupant of the building was the Alabama Women's Wellness Center, affiliated with the local Huntsville Hospital. The area is zoned for residential use only. The Wellness Center obtained a zoning variance when it opened in 1998 to allow it to be in the neighborhood as an outpatient medical facility. They went door-to-door at the time with petitions for residents to sign to allow them to be there. But abortions were not part of that agreement between the residents and facility administrators. It is unclear whether or not the abortion clinic would even be permitted to operate under the zoning conditions that are in place.
Though there are still many unanswered questions, and approval from the Health Department and Zoning Board have not been obtained, the clinic may already be performing abortions at the new clinic.
Local Knights of Columbus have reportedly been seeing abortion "escorts" outside the clinic. There are also reports of men being outside the clinic in their cars, a common occurrence at abortion clinics. Not at all common with obstetrical/gynecological appointments.
This may already be illegal, because the clinic is not yet licensed to perform abortions. However, under Alabama law, "a doctor can legally perform fewer than 10 abortions per month without an abortion provider license."
Protesters continue to hold discussions with community residents to let them know what is going on. Protests at the new clinic location have begun. One pro-life activist commented that they hoped that the clinic would be shut down before the children come back to school in the fall.
A sidewalk rally was held recently to protest the opening of the clinic, and about 50 people were in attendance, holding up signs and praying. The keynote speaker was nationally-known Catherine Davis from Georgia. She said:
"Abortion is a scourge. They tell us that abortion is a woman's right to choose. They tell us that it is health care. They tell us it is safe and they want to keep it legal, they want to keep it rare. But it's not rare and it's not safe. All around this country today, thousands of babies are going to die."Davis and others noted that the clinic is not only right next to a middle school, and just down the street from an elementary school, it is also in a predominantly black area. Abortion kills more blacks, she said, than all the other causes of death combined. She told her audience that this was not accidental, that black and minority communities are deliberately targeted. Previously, The Inquisitr, reported that "79% of all abortion clinics are within walking distance of a Latino and/or African American communities."
What do you think about this abortion clinic's planned move? Whether you consider yourself pro-life or pro-choice, do you believe that the administrator could have found a more appropriate location to move to? Do you believe that middle school children should be exposed to abortion every day as they go to school?