Arizona Planned Parenthood Closes Longtime Abortion Facility

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 6, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arizona Planned Parenthood Closes Longtime Abortion Facility

by Paul Nowak Editor
January 6, 2004

Sierra Vista, AZ ( — Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona is being forced to close its Sierra Vista facility in Tiffany Plaza by the plaza’s leasing agent. 

The south central Arizona abortion facility received a letter Friday from Canusa Management Services Inc. of Tucson, the management company that serves as an agent for Tiffany Plaza, stating that they must vacate their leased space by the end of this month. No reason was given for the termination of the lease.

"The landlord’s decision comes just three months after we started using the abortion pill, Mifeprex," said Patti Caldwell, president of Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona.

When the Sierra Vista Planned Parenthood began offering Mifeprex, also known as RU-486, in September, it became the only abortion facility in Cochise County. The next closest abortion businesses are in Tucson.

Canusa Management Services told it had no comment on their decision.

Caldwell told the Tucson Citizen that a representative of Canusa had expressed "some concern" in December that performing abortions might increase protest activity. Caldwell said that typically there were only two to six protesters in front of the clinic, and only for about two hours on Saturdays.

However, an employee of another business located in Tiffany Plaza disagreed with Caldwell’s assessment of the protesters. She told that the protesters who came on weekends were enough to block signs in the plaza and at times had "taken up half the parking lot."

The representative of Canusa had also addressed the issue of whether the facility was the right fit for the shopping plaza, Caldwell said. Other than Planned Parenthood’s facility, Tiffany Plaza is home to several retail businesses, including a music store, a pet store, a sandwich shop, a computer store and an ice cream shop.

"This is another great example of community leaders demonstrating courage against a business which hurts women and kills babies," Shane Wikfors, Executive Director of Arizona Right to Life told "They clearly told Planned Parenthood that their agenda is no longer welcome in Sierra Vista."

"It sounds quite honestly like the community didn’t support either abortion or the message of Planned Parenthood, which is usually contraception and sex outside of marriage and the gay agenda and no parental consent for abortions," added Risha Brown, Education Director of Arizona Right to Life.

Wikfors said there were a number of other health providers in Sierra Vista that provide legitimate reproductive health services. One of those centers is the Care Net Pregnancy Center of Cochise County, also located in Sierra Vista.

"Care Net Pregnancy Center of Cochise County will continue to offer complete, accurate and truthful information concerning abortion and its risks along with caring and compassionate support to the woman who finds herself in an unplanned pregnancy," said Adèle Schloemer, Executive Director of the organization.

"In addition to sharing the truth about abortion, we offer material assistance through Earn While You Learn," added Schloemer, who explained that the program seeks to "reward learning, promote responsibility, and foster relationships."

According to Caldwell, the Planned Parenthood abortion facility will close January 27. It had been open in the Tiffany Plaza three days a week since 1984, and elsewhere in the town since 1974.

The abortion drug RU-486 has been linked to the September death of 19-year-old Holly Patterson, who received the drug  from a Planned Parenthood in California.

Patterson is one of three known cases of a woman in North America having died from Mifeprex. In her case, Planned Parenthood admitted it did not administer the drug as directed by the FDA, which is actively investigating RU-486 and its involvement in Patterson’s death.

Patterson’s parents, who were not informed of  their daughter’s pregnancy or attempted abortion until just hours before she died, are championing parental notification legislation, as well as a proposed bill to halt the sale of Mifeprex in the United States. 

Related web sites:
Arizona Right to Life –