Pregnancy Center May Sue After City Refuses to Let It Open Next Door to Abortion Clinic

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 12, 2016   |   9:30AM   |   Raleigh, North Carolina

A pro-life pregnancy center that hopes to open next door to an abortion clinic in North Carolina is not giving up in the face of rejection.

Last year, A Hand of Hope pregnancy center bought land next to A Preferred Women’s Health Center, an abortion clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina, and hoped to move in there to better serve pregnant and parenting moms and their families. However, the abortion clinic has been fighting against the pro-life pregnancy center’s plans.

Last week, the City Council of Raleigh rejected A Hand of Hope’s request to have the land rezoned from residential to commercial so that it could move its pregnancy resource center there, The News Observer reported.

Now, the pregnancy center says it is considering a lawsuit against the city, according to ABC News 11.

A Hand of Hope Executive Director Tonya Baker Nelson told reporters that they have a team of lawyers looking into their options.

“We’re firmly convinced that this is not the end, and we have a lot of people on our side to see how can we fix this. How are we able to occupy the space?” she said.



The City Council rejected the pregnancy center’s zoning request last Thursday, arguing that the property is for residential use only and citing city codes. According to news reports, the city council members did not bring up abortion at all during their discussion; their discussion focused city planning efforts.

However, pro-lifers and abortion advocates both have been at the city council meetings to voice their opinions about the matter. Brandi Kraus, a local resident, spoke up Thursday on behalf of the pregnancy center, WRAL reports.

“If an abortion clinic is located there, why not give women another choice to save their pregnancy, to save their baby,” Kraus said.

After the vote Thursday, Nelson said she was shocked.

“From all our research, it looked like our request fit right into the UDO (Raleigh’s development guidelines) and we were following all the rules laid out for us, step-by-step,” Nelson said.

Leaders of the abortion clinic have been fighting the pregnancy center’s rezoning request from the start. They argued that the pro-life pregnancy center and its supporters would harass women seeking abortions.

Nelson refuted the claims, saying her organization does not harass women or encourage or allow protesters on its property.

“We don’t need to protest to attract ourselves to the community,” Nelson told the council previously.

“We will be located right beside the abortion clinic, much like McDonald’s is across the street from Burger King,” Nelson continued previously. “It makes good business sense to go exactly where the people are that we’re trying to reach.”

Abortion supporters’ opposition to the move is interesting, considering that they call themselves “pro-choice.” Abortion clinics typically offer women just one “choice” — abortion, while pregnancy resource centers offer women alternatives to abortion, including parenting and adoption resources. If pro-abortion people support giving women a “choice” to abort, give birth or make an adoption plan, they should welcome a pregnancy center that offers women alternatives to abortion.

According to its website, Hands of Hope operates two pregnancy centers in North Carolina where it offers free and confidential pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD testing, options counseling and more. The pro-life center says it “exists solely to truly offer women and men who are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy a real choice in their decision making process.”