Local News

Anti-abortion group seeks to move next to Raleigh women's clinic

Posted April 28, 2016
Updated April 29, 2016

— An anti-abortion group wants to move its office next to a west Raleigh clinic that provides abortions.

The nonprofit A Hand of Hope Pregnancy Resource Center purchased a residential lot in January adjacent to the site of A Preferred Women's Health Center, at 1604 Jones Franklin Road.

A Hand of Hope, which operates the Your Choice Pregnancy Clinic and provides free pregnancy services, has been leasing office space about a quarter-mile up Jones Franklin Road. Executive Director Tonya Nelson Baker said Thursday that owning an office rather than leasing would be cheaper, and the proposed move is good business strategy.

"We will be located right beside the abortion clinic, much like McDonald's is across the street from Burger King," Baker said. "It makes good business sense to go exactly where the people are that we're trying to reach."

A Hand of Hope has requested the former home be rezoned to allow office space, and the nonprofit cleared its first hurdle Tuesday when the West Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council voted 30-17 in favor of the change.

The recommendation next goes to the Raleigh Planning Commission, and it could be June before the City Council gets a chance to weigh in on the zoning request.

Lois Turner, the owner of A Preferred Women's Health Center, called the rezoning case underhanded and said it would lead only to intimidation of the clinic's patients.

"Abortion is not the right choice for everyone, but everyone has the right to make that choice," Turner said in a statement. "Hand of Hope has had a location directly across the street for years – this move is strictly an intimidation tactic. The outcome of this rezoning proposal will not affect any individual’s personal beliefs. However, if granted, it will cause disruption and difficulties for not only our business, but for our neighbors as well."

A Preferred Women's Health Center has attracted protesters in the past, and some nearby residents fear the protesters will return if A Hand of Hope is next door.

"The protesters like to show up on Saturday, and they bring lots of big signs and very graphic images that our children see," Carrie Rogers said. "With it being private property belonging to people who support the same cause as the protesters, I think it would be more likely to bring people back into the neighborhood."

A couple of anti-abortion fliers were on A Hand of Hope's property on Thursday.

Benson Kirkman, a former Raleigh City Council member who now co-chairs the West Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council, said concerns about conflict are understandable.

"There's always that potential. It's like a stepbrother moving in next to his hated stepbrother," Kirkman said. "You can anticipate that might happen, but it doesn't have to be that way."

Nelson said it won't be.

"Hand of Hope does not protest. It is against our policy and procedure to protest. We won't allow protesting on our property. That's just not who we are," she said.

Also, nobody will be standing outside luring people to her clinic, she said.


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  • Jimmy Ray May 1, 2016
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    Excellent post. Great point. Just like the old NBC PSA, "the more you know . . . "

  • Charles Foster May 1, 2016
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    Comprehensive Healthcare should include "choice" & we have all been told how poor women can not afford to travel long distances to receive their "choice". These two groups being beside each other is good for poor women or do some think that poor women are somehow to stupid or under-educated to make the "choice" when given all the info. This argument is starting to make the abortion clinic look like, well an abortion clinic. All Pro-choice supporters should be helping to bring about this necessary change in the support of these poor & uneducated women. Knowing all the facts and choices is necessary to make such a major decision. Certainly one would not buy a home, vehicle without having the necessary info to make a sound "choice". If you had an serious illness, you would search out the best options of care, right? If you are truly Pro-choice you would welcome this other resource next door for these women unless of course you are just Pro-abortion.

  • Roland Kandalbar Apr 29, 2016
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    pro-abortion? no, it called providing health care to women. it's called pro-choice. and everyone is pro-life. stop being confused with ideological verbal gymnastics.

  • Jimmy Ray Apr 29, 2016
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    "An anti-abortion group wants to move its office next to a west Raleigh clinic that provides abortions."

    If WRAL is going to describe one group as anti-abortion, it should logically describe the other group as pro-abortion, since they are the ones that are actually doing the abortions.

  • Xander Bogaerts Apr 29, 2016
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    fantastic quote, thanks for posting Howard, and kudos to Roland.

  • Howard Roark Apr 29, 2016
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    "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is." - Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B.

  • Roland Kandalbar Apr 29, 2016
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    anti-choice people generally care about life only from conception to birth. after that, the little children are on their own, and a few wars every now and then is also acceptable.

  • Iam Theantisatan Apr 29, 2016
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    It's a woman's choice, it's her body, unless she's still in the womb, then she has no choice and at will you can kill her by ripping her body into shreds.

    Has anyone ever seen the bloody tiny pieces of body parts removed during what some heartless individuals call "choice"?

  • Sonny Melton Apr 28, 2016
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    “In order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.”

    Problem being; only you believe these actions make you look better.

    In the end, Savage was right. Liberalism is a mental disorder. Just not a new one.

  • Sonny Melton Apr 28, 2016
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    "Liberalism is a mental disorder"