Local News

Raleigh City Council unable to vote on anti-abortion clinic rezoning

Posted June 21, 2016 6:31 p.m. EDT

— The Raleigh City Council was not able to vote Tuesday in an unusual rezoning case because the public hearing notices that were sent out to neighbors listed the incorrect time.

A Hand of Hope ministry, 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, but purchased land next to A Preferred Women's Health Center in January.

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

But neighbors and employees at the abortion clinic are worried the situation could turn into a toxic combination.

"We do not protest. That is just not who we are," Nelson said Tuesday. "We don't need to protest to attract ourselves to the community."

She asked that the city approve the rezoning request, but Calla Hales, an administrator with A Preferred Women's Health Center, asked for the opposite.

"Clearly, I would like to ask you not to rezone the property," Hales said. "While this has nothing to do with the fact we have opposing views, it has everything to do with security."

Another meeting is scheduled for July.