Washington D.C., May 27, 2021 / 15:03 pm (CNA).
A pro life organization in Toledo, Ohio, purchased a parking lot across the street from a local abortion clinic in February, in anticipation of a local prohibition on sidewalk counseling.
The Northwest Ohio-based Foundation for Life recently bought the parking lot across from the abortion clinic Capital Care of Toledo, for $35,000. The clinic told 13ABC that many women seeking an abortion end up parking in the lot that is now owned by the Foundation for Life.
“We were thrilled to have the opportunity and grateful for the three generous donors who stepped up and enabled us to purchase the property,” Ed Sitter, the executive director of Foundation for Life, told CNA.
Sitter told CNA he was grateful to the lot’s owner for selling it to his organization for half of the asking price. Sitter said the owner was pro-life and wanted to give back to the pro life cause in the community.
Escorts from Capital Care would typically meet women seeking an abortion and walk with them past the pro-life sidewalk advocates. The parking lot had been on sale for 20 years, but after buying the lot, Foundation for Life no longer allows abortion clinic staff or volunteers to meet the women in that parking lot.
The purchase follows a proposed city council ordinance to create a 100-foot buffer zone around the abortion clinic, inside of which protestors cannot approach clinic customers.
“So, what that 100-foot radius does is it approaches upon the property that we just purchased,” Sitter said.
Sitter called the ordinance an infringement upon free speech and freedom of association, and said it created “another constitutional issue of infringing upon the useful purpose of our private property.”
Foundation for Life can now speak to anyone on their own property. The town ordinance, which has not been voted on, has encountered union opposition, according to Sitter. The city council, which is majority-Democrat, is expected to forgo voting on the bill until after the next election, Sitter said.
Sitter told CNA that his group has also recently sued the abortion clinic, which only offers the abortion pill, for practicing legal healthcare operations without a doctor present.
Foundation for Life, which has counseled at the abortion clinic since 2009, is excited about the recent purchase which they say will help them pursue their mission of saving lives.
“It’s going to be extremely effective,” Sitter told CNA.