by Steven Ertelt
July 17, 2006
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — In years past, when pro-life advocates were opposed to having an abortion center in their town, they normally looked to protests, legislation or zoning board requirements to help them place restrictions on abortion centers or make it difficult for them to do business. Now they’re trying a more direct tactic — buying them.
Abortion business have been purchased in states such as Kansas, Florida, Tennessee and Nebraska.
In one of the first cases the Pro-Life Majority Coalition of Chattanooga outbid a Tennessee abortion business for the right to own a local facility that had long been the sole place in town where abortions were done.
The buying of the building forced the abortion center to close and the site now houses the National Memorial for the Unborn, a memorial for all of the babies who died at the abortion center over the years.
More recently, pro-life advocates in Wichita, Kansas purchased the building that housed the Central Women’s Services abortion facility.
Though the abortion center was planning to close down already, the group was able to expose the shoddy conditions that existed there and route its phone line to a pregnancy center before it ceased functioning.
In Springfield, Missouri, a local pregnancy center now runs the building that housed an abortion facility and an abortion business in Omaha, Nebraska may be closed for good after the sale of its building.
Julie Unruh opened a crisis pregnancy center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, knows the advantages of having a pregnancy center where an abortion business was once located. She says women still come to the Alpha Center looking for an abortion and, instead, get real pregnancy help and support.
"Those women, very rarely did they leave and get an abortion," she told ABC News. "And if they did, they knew that they can come back for post-abortion counseling."
However, abortion advocates are catching on to the strategy and are working to counter it.
In 2000, three Omaha pro-life advocates tried to purchase the building where Leroy Carhart’s late-term abortion business was located. However, he won a lawsuit allowing him to repurchase the facility and he’s now working to stop further buyouts.
"That goes on fairly frequently," he said. "It certainly is common knowledge among providers. In fact, that is one of the reasons why we started a nonprofit."
Carhart started the Abortion Access Fund, which provides loans to abortion centers to purchase their own property and avoid eviction from pro-life building owners.
But, with the success pro-life advocates are still having in shutting down abortion businesses by buying them, expect the new trend to continue.