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Pro-life activists take fight to stop abortion clinic to Madison County Court

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Opponents of a Huntsville abortion clinic have filed an appeal in Madison County Circuit Court, in an attempt to stop the clinic from moving to a location on Sparkman Drive. The appeal follows an August decision by the Board of Zoning Adjustment to allow the location’s medical variance to stand.

The property at 4831 Sparkman Drive is zoned residential but was granted a medical variance to operate in 1998, when it was originally an obstetrics and gynecology practice. The owners of the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives bought the property after closing down their facility on Madison Street in June.  The downtown Huntsville building did not comply with new, tougher state standards for abortion clinic safety.

Although pro-life activists fought the transfer of the variance to the abortion clinic, the zoning board ruled 3 to 2 to allow the transfer to stand. This week, nearly two dozen complainants filed an appeal. They’re asking the court to issue a stay, which would halt any work on the property while the appeal is weighed. They also want the building permits revoked, the variance nullified and any future variance applications denied.

Rev. James Henderson is one of the complainants. He says the biggest objection to the Sparkman Drive property is its proximity to a school, adding, “our discussions with the people in the neighborhood, business, churches, residents – nobody wants an abortion clinic near that school – so to even think about getting a new variance is ridiculous.”

The zoning board is represented in the case by F&B Law Firm of Huntsville. The firm had no comment regarding the appeal.


    • Branko Pezdi

      They have the right to file a lawsuit. Are you saying they don’t? (I disagree with their position, by the way).

  • Anathalee Sandlin

    if Henderson thinks the clinic will be a distraction then he needs to stop protesting in front of the Sparkman location and he needs to stay out of the street. He is creating the disturbance that he’s using to try to keep the clinic from opening.

  • carolynbild

    Henderson is using the school as an excuse; if the school was not there, he’d come up with something else. He is nothing, if not disingenuous. If this pathetic excuse for clergy were truly a man of God, he would be out making actionable efforts to help disadvantaged children who have been born. Far as I can tell the lion’s share of his time is spent trying to keep city is dry and women subjugated. I’ve been around this world for a long time, and I can say one thing for certain: People who squawk the loudest about perceived sins of others, are more often than not those who have their own darkness to hide. One day, we shall see just how fallible Henderson is; can assure you he is not a good, decent, kind gentleman.

    • Branko Pezdi

      I suspect that the deleted comments violated WHNT’s apparently extensive list of forbidden words or did not meet the WHNT censors’ overly strict standards of civil discourse. In actuality, looking at the choice of “news” articles WHNT publishes and the content therein, WHNT falls well within the politically correct, leftist ideology exhibited by the majority of the news media in this country these days.

    • Claire Aiello

      Carolyn, that’s not the case, I assure you. When someone flags a comment it goes into holding mode until we check it. That system is in place to prevent attacks, trolling, foul language and such, but the people who disagree with each other have also figured out it removes the comment they disagree with, until we check the comments. We check the ones in holding several times a day, but it’s one of many things we do. Thank you for your comment. I have allowed your other ones through, you’ll see.

  • Pete

    “This week, nearly two dozen complainants filed an appeal”….
    so….. 23 people?? Out of this entire City, 23 people have an issue with the proposed clinic?
    They should not be able to cause such a stink just because of their moral beliefs on the subject.

    I am not the biggest religious nut, but I do know one thing: People SIn. People Sin everyday. There is no way around it. We live in a fallen creation, and sin is what God put upon us…. no matter what these 23 think, abortions will still happen rather there is a clinic there or not.

    • Me

      There are far more than 23 people in the entire city who would rather not have the clinic. Most people simply are not willing to go to those extremes and fire an appeal.

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