100 Pro-Life Protesters Oppose No Parking Ordinance Targeting Their Free Speech Outside Abortion Clinic

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 29, 2017   |   7:16PM   |   Charlotte, North Carolina

Pro-lifers in Charlotte, North Carolina believe the city may be setting up new parking requirements to block them from reaching women outside a local abortion facility.

The Charlotte Observer reports more than 100 pro-life advocates attended the city council meeting on Monday to protest plans for new no-parking signs on Latrobe Drive where the abortion facility A Preferred Women’s Health Center is located.

Sidewalk counseling and peaceful protests are regular occurrences outside the abortion facility, which has a poor reputation for patient health and safety. The local group Cities4Life also has a mobile counseling and ultrasound unit that it often parks outside the abortion facility to provide free services and options counseling to women, according to the report.

The report states the city council is planning to put up the new no-parking signs along Latrobe Drive because of concerns about stopped traffic and patient access to the abortion facility. The pro-life crowd outside the abortion facility has been growing, according to the report.

Here’s more from the report:

If the city installed no-parking signs, Cities4Life said its ability to reach women would be limited.

“We offer help and medical truths,” Sheryl Chandler of Charlotte told City Council during a public comment period at Monday’s meeting.

Chandler, who has protested outside the clinic, said the city is “on the war path” to stop protesters and accused Democratic Mayor Jennifer Roberts and at-large council member Julie Eiselt of “threatening to take away” their microphone.

Anti-abortion protesters and abortion-rights groups have fought for years over who receives a noise amplification permit that allows someone to use a bullhorn or a microphone on the sidewalk outside the clinic. Both sides often send the city hundreds of e-mails each night, hoping to arrive as close to midnight as possible. The city awards the permit to whichever side’s e-mail arrives closest to midnight, often to the millisecond.

“It’s easy to silence those you disagree with with regulations,” said Vicky Kaseorg. “Just like it’s easy to call a baby in the womb a clump of cells.”

Abortion activists at the meeting on Monday accused pro-lifers of blocking traffic and stopping women from going into the abortion facility, the report states.

The city said it is studying the situation, but it has not taken action yet.

The Charlotte abortion facility has a shoddy reputation: It has a history of repeated health and safety violations, and abortionist Ron Virmani has faced medical board discipline.

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State health officials shut down the abortion facility for the second time in May 2013 after discovering numerous health and safety violations. The state later allowed A Preferred Woman’s Health to reopen under close monitoring, according to local news reports at the time.

In July 2012, abortionist Ron Virmani also was caught on tape making racist remarks in reference to black babies.

“As a taxpayer, I do not wish to pay for those babies to be born…Go ahead and pay for them. Let me see you adopt one of those ugly black babies,” Virmani shouted at pro-life protesters during an emotional rant.

Pro-life advocates and abortion activists also are involved in an on-going battle in another part of North Carolina. A pregnancy center that purchased land next to a Raleigh abortion facility has been trying to move to its new location for more than a year. The abortion facility has been using city zoning regulations to block the move.