Its for the children.
Via AL Com
Friday’s scheduled closing of Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives means Huntsville-area women who want an abortion will have to drive to Nashville or Tuscaloosa.
But Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates spokeswoman Jayme Calhoun said she is confident that will be a temporary situation.
Calhoun said Alabama Women’s Center continues to seek state health department permission to relocate from downtown Huntsville to a larger medical office building that it recently purchased at 4831 Sparkman Drive.
“We’re very optimistic that we’ll be opening there soon, but it all has to do with the approval process,” Calhoun told AL.com Thursday.
“It’s not going to be a year down the road; it’s going to be a couple of months, we’re hoping.”
The focus of loud sidewalk protests for more than a decade, Alabama Women’s Center will shut the doors of its Madison Street clinic for good Friday afternoon.
Dalton Johnson, the clinic’s administrator, intends to surrender his state abortion provider license for that location on Monday, said Calhoun.
She said the cramped building a block from Huntsville Hospital cannot be retrofitted to comply with the Alabama Women’s Health and Safety Act that goes into effect Tuesday.
It’s not going to be a year down the road; it’s going to be a couple of months, we’re hoping.
The controversial act requires abortion clinics to meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Among other things, that means doors and hallways wide enough to accommodate patient gurneys.
“We would have had to do massive structural repairs to make the hallways wide enough,” said Calhoun, who also volunteers at the clinic.
Johnson recently purchased the Sparkman Drive medical office building, and Calhoun said it is “compliant for the most part” with the new state law. However, the Alabama Department of Public Health is still reviewing blueprints.
Meantime, abortion opponents are mobilizing to try to block the clinic from opening on Sparkman Drive.
They argue that location would target black women and be disruptive to Ed White Middle School directly across the street. Ed White Middle is scheduled to be converted into a citywide magnet school, the Academy for Arts and Academics, in the fall of 2015.