A new Virginia abortion facility accused of pressuring a young teenager into aborting her unborn baby and lying to its landlord in two separate lawsuits insists that it will not close or leave town.
Speaking with Cardinal News, Bristol Women’s Health owner Diane Derzis said they are “getting busier all the time” and she will not move away even if her landlord wins the lawsuit.
“You know if [the lawsuit] were to go the other way, I’d just find another building. … But I don’t intend to lose,” she told the news outlet.
The abortion business recently moved from Tennessee, which protects unborn babies by banning elective abortions, to the Virginia border town of Bristol.
Already, it is facing two lawsuits – including one from the parents of a young teenage girl who says she was pressured to abort her unborn baby against her will. The parents also accused the abortion facility of failing to inform them about the abortion in violation of Virginia law.
The local news report did not mention the family’s lawsuit, but focused primarily on a second, unrelated complaint filed by landlords Chase King and Chadwick King. According to the Kings’ case, Bristol Women’s Health deceived them about how it planned to use their rental property, claiming it would be a “general family practice.” Not until after the lease was signed did the Kings learn that it was an abortion business, according to their lawsuit.
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Cardinal News reports Derzis’s Bristol facility “only performs abortions — both medical and surgical — and offers birth control.”
However, Derzis asserted she never deceived her landlords and she accused them of waiting six months before filing their lawsuit, according to the report.
The Kings responded in their lawsuit that they made several attempts to negotiate a private termination of the lease as soon as they found out about the abortion facility, and they filed the lawsuit after the abortion facility owners refused.
Here’s more from the report:
A motions hearing set for Monday in Bristol Circuit Court was continued and no new date has been set. Derzis’ attorney, Alexis Tahinci, said the hearing will focus on motions she filed in answer to the lawsuit, including a motion to dismiss. …
There are only two more months left on the one-year lease. If Derzis prevails or if the lawsuit isn’t settled by then, she said she fully intends to exercise the renewal options on the commercial lease agreement, which states she has the option to lease for a second year with no rent increase, followed by two three-year options with renewal terms at a 5% annual rent increase.
Local residents also strongly oppose the abortion facility and have urged government leaders to act. Last fall, the Bristol City Council considered a zoning ordinance to stop abortion facilities from opening there, but they have not taken any action on the matter since.
The Family Foundation in Virginia has been encouraging Bristol and other communities to act to protect unborn babies, too.
“Southwest Virginia has become a target for ‘tourism abortion’ because our neighboring states are ahead of our commonwealth in doing the good work of protecting human life within their states,” Victoria Cobb, president of the organization, said in a statement in October.
Meanwhile, Derzis said lots of pregnant mothers from pro-life states are coming to their Bristol facility for abortions, and she just hired two more abortionists.
She also runs abortion facilities in Columbus, Georgia; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Richmond, Virginia. She said she plans to open another new one soon in Chicago, according to the report.