by Steven Ertelt
May 24, 2006
Sarasota, FL (LifeNews.com) — Residents of Sarasota, Florida met with Planned Parenthood officials this week to discuss the abortion business’ plans to put a new $8 million abortion center in their community. People who live in the Rosemary District of town say their once dilapidated neighborhood is on the rebound and they don’t want an abortion facility detracting from it.
"This isn’t a moral issue, but how is this good for this neighborhood and what does it contribute," said Christine Hawes, who the Herald Tribune newspaper reports lives and works there.
"From what I can see, it will only bring problems to this neighborhood," Hawes added.
At least 15 other residents told the abortion business that their new facility would be an intrusion. They cited everything from parking problems to curbing the revitalization they’re trying to foster.
Others are worried about pro-life protesters, according to the newspaper.
"My main concern is the protesters," said parent Neisha Leverett. "They have already been coming out. My 6-year-old son asked me what it meant. We haven’t even discussed the birds and the bees yet, and I’m not ready to tell him about abortions."
But the Herald Tribune reported that Barbara Zdravecky, the local Planned Parenthood’s chief operating officer, told residents that the community needs an abortion center. It does more than 1,000 abortions annually at its current location.
She also said the abortion business would provide family planning services and educational resources.
"We got an excellent deal on the property," Zdravecky said. "It best suits our outreach needs. This isn’t a new venture."
The abortion business paid $500,000 two years ago for the property it intends to build on, according to the paper. Some 75 percent of the land is zoned for Planned Parenthood’s use and it has an upcoming meeting in August with the City Commission to get the rest zoned for the abortion center.
In October, 2004, Sarasota County commissioners came under fire for a donation of $26,750 to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Florida.
Residents were disappointed the county commission held the meeting for public opinion on the grants during the daytime, when it would be difficult for people to get off work to attend and voice their dissent.
The commission unanimously approved the grant.