HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Anti-abortion activist James Henderson raised the alarm after hearing the owners of the Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives in downtown Huntsville were considering a move.
Henderson contacted the school board with his concerns that the clinic’s proposed new location, at 4831 Sparkman Drive, would be across the street from Ed White Middle School. He also raised questions about whether the building was zoned for the particular use.
“There are zoning restrictions to include a variance that would not apply to the move of the abortion clinic,” said Henderson.
Ed White Middle School will close for good in August. The school building will then undergo a renovation and the Academy for Academics and Arts will move into the space for the 2015-16 school year.
“School is continuing. And the impact on impressionable kids having an abortion clinic there is just too much for the public to tolerate,” said Henderson.
A call to the Huntsville City Zoning Director confirmed the building is zoned for medical use.
Not only that, but it’s the exact type of zoning a representative for the center says they need to be in compliance with new Alabama laws that require physicians to have hospital admitting privileges and meet certain building codes.
“We have to be an ambulatory surgical center and [our current] facility is not zoned as that, so we need to move to a building that does have those requirements,” said Jayme Calhoun, a representative for the clinic and Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates.
The owner of the Women’s Center has already purchased the Sparkman Drive property. However a move is not yet official.
“As of right now we have no plans that are solidified for a move, but we are looking at our options,” said Calhoun.
While no move date is set, Calhoun says they hope to move into a new facility as soon as possible.