KISSIMMEE, FL, April 4, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Planned Parenthood is spending $2 million to open a new 10,000 square foot abortion facility in Kissimmee – the largest yet in Central Florida – and local residents are begging city officials to stop them.
“We do not want a death factory in our back yard,” one resident said at a Tuesday city commission meeting, which attracted hundreds of citizens to protest the facility’s planned May opening.
Another begged, “Do not let one of our attractions be baby-killing.”
But Kissimmee Mayor Jim Swan told residents that local zoning laws leave the city with no option but to let the facility open as planned. “The folks moving in there are providing medical services, just like the person who just left, so there’s no rezoning. There’s no [change of] land use,” Swan told WFTV-9. “We had no authority. I know most folks don’t understand that.”
The majority of city officials told residents they were personally against allowing the abortion facility to open, and that they hoped to take the issue to the state legislature, at a minimum to address whether the facility will receive state funding.
“I do think that the majority of commission members would feel as though we ought to do a better job in dealing with these kinds of issues,” Swan said. “I don’t think anybody is comfortable with the loss of life or anything else.”
But Swan told News 13, “Sometimes, the local government hands are tied with the rules and regulations since they are in place and we can't always do what folks would prefer that we do. No matter how we feel individually … it would be illegal to try and stop it.”
Many of those offended by Planned Parenthood’s arrival are local doctors and other medical professionals who work at the Osceola Regional Medical Center (ORMC) hospital across the street and other nearby medical facilities.
“It’s going to have a devastating impact on not only the lives of children unborn and the mothers that go in there choosing to end their pregnancies, but also the surrounding medical practices and the hospital,” Dr. John Littell, a family doctor who practices at ORMC, told commissioners Tuesday night.
“Keep in mind that this is across the street from [ORMC], where women will be going in in labor and coming out with a baby at the same time that women will be walking into an abortion clinic and coming out without a baby,” Littell added.
Dr. Jose Fernandez, a Kissimmee family practitioner who also objects to the facility’s planned opening, told News 13 the heavily Latino community is largely religious and strongly pro-life.
“The issue that surrounds those clinics, which is centered around the idea of abortion, is very disconcerting,” Fernandez told News 13. “We have a fantastic religious community, supportive churches, and this is very upsetting to the community.”
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But Planned Parenthood of Central Florida CEO Jenna Tosh told WFTV-9 that Kissimmee’s high Latino population was a major reason they decided to open a new abortion business there.
“Four in 10 Latina teens experience at least one pregnancy before the age of 20, so we're very excited to be serving the broader community of Osceola County,” said Tosh.
Tensions are high enough that the bomb squad was called Thursday morning when an abandoned duffel bag was found near a bench in front of the facility after an attempted break-in. As a precaution, the roads surrounding the building were closed while police investigated the bag. Police later told local media they found an “unknown substance” inside the bag, which has been sent out for further testing. The police said there were other items inside the bag as well, but declined to say what they were. Ultimately, the bag was declared safe, and the roads surrounding the facility were reopened.
A spokesperson for Central Florida Planned Parenthood told the Osceola News-Gazette that the new mega-facility in Kissimmee is just the first planned step in a much larger effort to expand the reach of their abortion business throughout the area. Kissimmee’s will be the third Planned Parenthood facility in the region, which covers four counties, but currently has only two smaller centers in neighboring Orange County.
Central Florida Planned Parenthood’s plan tracks with Planned Parenthood’s expansion plans at the national level, as the organization continues to grab an increasingly larger share of the abortion market. The tax-exempt, taxpayer-funded organization now performs about one-third of all abortions in the U.S., up from less than a quarter just eight years ago. Like the Kissimmee facility, nearly 80 percent of all Planned Parenthood locations target black and/or Latino communities.