Facing a potential ban on sidewalk counseling near an abortion clinic, a pro-life group in Ohio got creative: It bought the parking lot across the street.
Foundation for Life, a pro-life organization based in Toledo, bought the parking lot in March for $35,000, according to 13 ABC. The lot sits across the street from Capital Care of Toledo, the city’s only abortion clinic.
“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 Catholic News Agency.
The pro-life group bought the lot as the Toledo City Council was considering a new ordinance that would prohibit pro-life volunteers from counseling women within 100 feet of the clinic without their consent. The ordinance has yet to receive a vote.
“We often have patients who park over there. Mostly by mistake,” Kristin Hady, a volunteer at the abortion clinic, told 13 ABC.
The pro-life organization does not allow clinic staff or clinic volunteers in its parking lot, Catholic News Agency reported.
Said Sitter, “What that 100-foot radius does is it approaches upon the property that we just purchased.”
An estimated 1,000-plus women will visit the clinic to consider an abortion in 2021, according to Foundation for Life.
Foundation for Life volunteers often save lives. In February, the organization’s Facebook page recounted a story in which a pregnant woman approached a sidewalk counselor near the clinic to tell her she had decided to keep her baby. She gave him a hug.
“The sidewalk escorts from Capital Care began yelling at the sidewalk advocate giving the mother a hug because he supposedly stepped onto their property – yelling that this is why they need the proposed ordinance to pass in Toledo City Council,” the story on the Facebook page read.
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/David Fillion
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.