70 physicians join pro-lifers to block new Planned Parenthood abortion clinic
On May 3, a group of 70 physicians took out a full page ad on page 2 of the Osceola News Gazette to encourage Kissimmee, Florida, citizens to join them in attempting to keep Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando from opening an abortion mill in their community, which is just 20 minutes from Walt Disney World.
Many of the physicians oppose PPGO because they are pro-life. Others are incensed on a professional level, because Planned Parenthood wants to open up shop in the middle of a large complex of medical office buildings, pictured below, directly across the street from a hospital. They fear Planned Parenthood’s presence will negatively impact their business, property value, and harmony, all of which are absolutely true.
Planned Parenthood kept its plan secret until March, when pro-lifer Jay Rogers discovered its scheme while researching another proposed abortion clinic.
As it turns out, PPGO purchased its 8,800 sq. ft. building in December 2013 from Orthopaedic Associates of Osceola for $1.4 million, this only after Adventist Health Systems (aka Florida Hospital System), which held the deed to the property, signed a waiver to a restriction that specified “the performance of elective termination of pregnancies is prohibited.” Seventh Day Adventists are woefully pro-abortion.
Not only that, they’re apparently spiteful. The hospital across the street from the proposed PPGO abortion mill, Osceola Regional Medical Center, is not part of the Adventist hospital system, so AHS’s signing of the waiver was noncolleagial, to put it mildly. AHS opened a can of worms, placed it on its competitor’s doorstep, and ran. ORMC is sure to get Planned Parenthood’s abortion botches as well as pro-life protests and prayer vigils on the sidewalk between it and the clinic.
The doctors at Orthopaedic Associates, who still have an office in the Oak Commons complex, also double-crossed their colleagues. I’m told by Dr. John Littell, who is spearheading the effort to oust Planned Parenthood before it can embed, that the entire medical community is now snubbing the group and refusing to refer patients. One can express umbrage with these doctors, some of whom are Catholic, here.
Planned Parenthood’s new abortion clinic is slated to open the end of May.
But there are still several hurdles.
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One is zoning. The area is zoned B-5 for medical – not surgical – offices. If Planned Parenthood is allowed to proceed, it will be the first surgical facility allowed under the B-5 zoning restriction.
Pro-lifer Katy Shultman, who attended the May 5 Kissimmee City Commission Meeting, told me Mayor Jim Swan and City Attorney Don Smallwood both claimed the city is helpless to enforce the zoning restriction, having been preempted by the state to regulate abortion clinics. They also both fretted Planned Parenthood would sue and cost the city millions in legal fees.
So does this mean Planned Parenthood is above the law? Can Planned Parenthood simply flout zoning restrictions with no ramifications? As was pointed out at a recent city commission meeting, quoting forerunner.com:
Littell argued that it is nearly impossible to get a pain clinic licensed in the city. Strip clubs are not allowed within city limits. Recently, a funeral home was not allowed to open next to a McDonalds. Littell urged the city to consider how an abortion center could be allowed to open, when more stringent laws are applied to far less less dangerous and offensive businesses.
Attorney Maureen Arago, who is working with the doctors and pro-life groups to block Planned Parenthood, told me they will sue the city if it refuses to enforce its own zoning restrictions. She said she is receiving input from two national pro-life legal powerhouses, Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation, to explore additional options.
Meanwhile, the Kissimmee community has indeed expressed overwhelming opposition to Planned Parenthoood’s presence in their city:
[In addition to the pro-lifers named in the post, thanks to Brad Fischetti, Annette Cayer, Michele Herzog, and moderator Carder for their input.]Reprinted with permission from Jill Stanek
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