Raleigh zoning board tells pregnancy center they can’t operate near abortion facility

A zoning board made up of five local residents in Raleigh, North Carolina, has denied A Hand of Hope pro-life pregnancy center its request to operate out of a building it owns near an abortion facility.

The News & Observer reports:

Raleigh’s Board of Adjustment, a quasi-judicial panel of local residents that interprets zoning regulations, appeared to issue the city’s final ruling Monday afternoon when it voted 3-2 to deny Hand of Hope to move into the space.

The battle has been ongoing since the city’s Planning Commission recommended approval of the pregnancy center’s request to rezone the property.

The City Council had also previously approved the pregnancy center’s use of the building. Pregnancy Help News’ Jay Hobbs notes:

The latest decision reverses a 7-0 vote by Raleigh’s City Council back in November, which had ruled that A Hand of Hope could indeed use the building it purchased to serve women with life-saving care, including pregnancy tests and ultrasounds.

“The fix was in yet again,” [center director Tonya] Baker Nelson said…. “There has just been a ton of political overreach and operating way outside the boundaries of the roles of each specific committee.”

Abortion facility staff had expressed concerns about having a pro-life pregnancy center so near to an abortion facility because they allegedly feared “an unsafe environment due to protests.” However, in July 2016, Live Action News’ Danny David reported that the pregnancy center says it “does not participate in protests, and will not allow protesters on its property.”

A Hand of Hope is planning to appeal the decision.

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