KNOXVILLE – About 40 anti-abortion advocates this morning attended an event at the True Vine Baptist Church, 2547 Washington Ave., to express their opposition to Planned Parenthood’s move to a new 4,000-square-foot building at 710 Cherry St.
Lisa Morris, spokesperson for Pro-Life Coalition of East Tennessee, said, “We wanted to have a press conference to let people know about the nature of Planned Parenthood’s organization. We just wanted to educate people about who Planned Parenthood is and what they do.”
Leaders of the coalition – which battled an earlier Planned Parenthood office move into the Bearden area – say they’re opposed to Planned Parenthood locating anywhere.
Coalition leaders accused Planned Parenthood – which in Knoxville does not offer surgical abortions – of being “deceitful.”
The anti-abortion coalition had lobbied real-estate companies to not lease property to Planned Parenthood. The Pro-Life Coalition accused Planend Parenthood of buying property under another name – Leonard Lawson LLC.
Planned Parenthood had hoped in August 2009 to move its health center from 8078 Kingston Pike, near West Town Mall, to a larger building, which it would lease, in Bearden’s Homberg Place. The nonprofit organization provides birth control, counseling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, education and RU486, a drug that can terminate pregnancies for up to nine weeks.
It does not perform surgical abortions in Knoxville, primarily because there are an adequate number of other providers in this area, said Jeff Teague, Planned Parenthood president and CEO.
But after the Pro-Life Coalition of East Tennessee mounted a campaign opposing the relocation, Planned Parenthood and the Homberg property owner came to a “mutual business decision” to halt the move.
Planned Parenthood paid $296,250 for the Cherry Street building.
More details as they become available online and in Wednesday’s News Sentinel.
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