Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives (AWCRA) reopened their doors last week after closing down due to Alabama’s Women’s Health and Safety Act. The Act required abortion facilities to meet the same building standards as Ambulatory Surgical Centers.
The owner of the abortion facility, Dalton Johnson, said he was “extremely relieved” to be back in business after the closure of the former abortion facility on Madison street. The facility is located at 4831 Sparkman Drive and is in a minority neighborhood, next to a middle school.
Alabama Women’s Center received its abortion provider license Friday after state inspectors certified that the new location near the Sparkman Drive-Jordan Lane intersection is in compliance with state law, he said.
“It’s going to be a great asset for women in North Alabama to have access to reproductive rights again,” Pamela Willis Watters, director of Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates, said Wednesday.
For the past few months, Huntsville-area women have had to drive to a clinic in Tuscaloosa for abortions.
The re-opening of the clinic on Sparkman Drive is certain to attract anti-abortion protesters, but Johnson said the commotion shouldn’t be as bad as it was on Madison Street. You could almost touch the former clinic while standing on the sidewalk, forcing patients to drive – and sometimes walk – past a knot of sign-waving protestors.
“With this facility, we have more parking and won’t have that bottleneck with the driveway,” said Johnson. “Our patients won’t have to walk through the protestors.”
The reopening of this facility is especially upsetting because over 15% of the abortions that take place in Alabama are performed on teenagers. And the AWCRA employs Raymond Lopez, the abortionist who recently spent every weekend for six months in jail due to a court order in a domestic case. Is this the kind of man and business Huntsville citizens want near their children?
According to the Huntsville Times, even citizens who are “neutral” on abortion opposed opening an abortion facility next to a middle school. City councilman Will Culver conducted a town hall meeting about the facility and said, “I don’t want this meeting to be about whether abortion is legal, ethical or moral. We just want to have a discussion about the fact that the clinic is going to be in close proximity to a couple of schools. I’ve heard from a lot of people in the community who are saddened with it being that close to two schools. To me, that’s just not a good mixture.”
Additionally, as LifeNews previously reported, the AWCRA has been cited for serious health violations in the past. A survey of the facility in January found unsanitary conditions, expired drugs and an uncalibrated ultrasound machine.