Virginia Planned Parenthood Seeks to Expand in Virginia Beach

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 10, 2011   |   12:30PM   |   Virginia Beach, VA

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia drew strong opposition to its request to expand at a hearing where pro-life advocates said they were worried the request would mean more abortions.

The abortion business wants to add two operating rooms at the facility it operates on Newtown Road that it opened in 2010, where it does abortions and provides some non-abortion services. The Daily Press indicates a Certificate of Public Need (COPN) hearing was held at the Virginia Beach Central Library on Monday with a crowd of 80 people evenly divided  in presenting their thoughts to the two-person panel making the decision.

Planned Parenthood claims the two new operating rooms are needed to expand their non-abortion services — which pro-life advocates say are merely a way to try to draw attention from its status as the number one abortion business in the country. The expansion would cost Planned Parenthood $225,000.

“As we have worked with outpatients, we have seen they have other gynecologic needs,” said Dr. Bob Rashti, Planned Parenthood Executive Director, according to WAVY.

Local pro-life residents said they were concerned the operating rooms would be used to bring second-trimester abortions to Virginia Beach.

“Abortions are what they do,” said Louantha Kerr, who is with 40 Days for Life Virginia Beach, who noted that thousands of people signed a petition against the abortion center when it opened last year. “Those same 10,615 citizens are saying again today that they don’t want Planned Parenthood to be granted two operating rooms to do more abortions – later-term abortions.”

“The real planned agenda is to expand into the lucrative second trimester abortion business and they would have a monopoly in Hampton Roads,” one woman said.

Another woman accused Planned Parenthood of targeting minorities by building and expanding abortion centers in historically black communities.

COPN Project Supervisor Peter Boswell told people attending the hearing that there are eight criteria the panel uses to evaluate requests like Planned Parenthood’s. he also said members of the public can still voice their views by going to at the Virginia Department of Health web site. The final decision is expected by May 19, according to the Daily Press.

You can also write to the Virginia Department of Health at 9960 Maryland Dr., Suite 401, Henrico, VA 23233.