Pro-lifers in Arkansas are celebrating that their presence resulted in the closure of a Planned Parenthood in the state, which is now looking for a new location. The abortion facility in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is shutting its doors at the end of this month citing “safety concerns” with protestors outside the facility.
“Planned Parenthood Great Plains will be reopening our Northwest Arkansas Health Center in a new location in the coming months,” said Dr. Brandon J. Hill, Planned Parenthood Great Plains President and CEO. “We chose to leave our current location following challenges that posed concerns for the safety of our patients and staff. We are no strangers to pressure from politicians and individuals who want to stand in the way of our ability to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.”
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette quotes Hill also citing “increasing problems with our landlord” in his decision to shut the facility’s doors. Some of the problems he complained of were “managing protester presence in the immediate vicinity of our facility and resultant concerns about patient and staff safety.” One example Hill gave was a pro-life pregnancy center which began parking its van in a lot next to the facility. Hill claimed that staff and patients “were alarmed and distressed by the van’s presence, and we were also concerned about medically inaccurate information being directed at patients. Additionally, we feared increased protester visibility could lead to security issues.”
In an article about the closure, Students for Life of America points out that claims of “safety concerns” and “medically inaccurate information” are always used when pro-lifers are having a real impact. In reality, the pro-life activists outside this Planned Parenthood facility were providing real, factual information and help to women in their time of need. When many women learn the truth about abortion and fetal development, they choose life. When women choose life, abortion facilities fail to make money.
While Hill promises that the facility will reopen, it appears that he may be having some trouble finding a new site. The Associated Press reports that in a court filing related to the facility’s closure, Hill indicates that he has contacted dozens of property owners, landlords, and management companies in the area but has yet been unable to find a new location. “We had previously hoped to restart providing services in a new location with little or no disruption in access to patients,” he said. He indicated that a new location may be hard to find “in part because some landlords are unwilling to rent to Planned Parenthood in light of the ongoing high-profile disputes over abortion.”
Because the facility is closing, it is also forced to withdraw its name from a lawsuit in federal court seeking to stop the state’s new abortion restrictions. The new laws ban abortions after 18-weeks and are slated to go into effect July 24.
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