The Ohio pro-life organization Foundation for Life purchased a parking lot across the street from Capital Care of Toledo, the only abortion clinic in the city after the foundation was in danger of being prohibited from counseling women seeking assistance from the clinic. Three donors came together to provide $35,000 in funding to purchase the lot.
"We were thrilled to have the opportunity and grateful for the three generous donors who stepped up and enabled us to purchase the property," Foundation for Life executive director Ed Sitter said in a conversation with the Catholic News Agency.
The decision to purchase the parking lot fronting the abortion clinic came about when the Toledo City Council considered banning the pro-life group volunteers from conseling women within 100 feet of the abortion facility without their consent. Kristin Hady, who volunteers at Capital Care of Toledo, said that some patients mistakenly park across the street from the abortion clinic, thinking that it is the parking lot for the facility. But now that the pro-life organization owns the parking lot, it will not allow clinic staff or volunteers to set foot on it.
"What that 100-foot radius does is it approaches upon the property that we just purchased," Sitter explained as per Christian Headlines. There is an estimated 1,000 or more women who will visit the abortion clinic this year, Foundation for Life said.
Its Facebook page in February recounted how one pregnant woman had a change of heart over her abortion. The pregnant woman approached a sidewalk counselor near the clinic to inform her that she decided to keep her baby and proceeded to hug her. But the abortion clinic volnteers and sidewalk escorts were unhappy with that development and began yelling at the pro-life volunteer who stepped onto the abortion clinic's property, saying that this was the reason why such an ordinance must be passed in the Toledo City Council.
"All during the time the property was for sale, we could still have conversations there, but often a sidewalk escort would come and interrupt us," Peter Range, the director of the Office for Life and Justice at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo told the Toledo Blade.
The Office for Life and Justice often hosts monthly prayer vigils and sidewalk counseling outside the Capital Care Toledo. range said, "We have the ability to speak with these moms and have more calm and more in-depth conversations, and we'll have more opportunities to do that as it's right across the street."
According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, there is limited information on national abortion reporting because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides reports on a delayed timetable. The latest available data shows that among 38 states that released reports for 2018, 23 states reported increases in abortion, while 15 reported a decline. The increase of abortions occurred in states where abortion is legal, showing an increase of more than 4%. In states where abortion is legal, there was 5,400 more abortions in 2018 than in 2017.