NY town denies Planned Parenthood permit application amid community uproar

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A New York town has denied a permit for Planned Parenthood to set up a proposed abortion clinic within their borders.

Residents of Henrietta, New York, reacted passionately when a Planned Parenthood location was pitched for their town. Protests and arguments from both sides dominated the Town Board as the abortion provider sought real estate in a local plaza. The application was denied in a narrow 3-2 vote.

The proposed Planned Parenthood clinic reportedly would have been established and operational by 2023.

“We were originally looking for space in the Brighton-Henrietta area, and we identified a location in Brighton to put a building, but they decided they were going to have to completely demolish the building and rebuild it,” Planned Parenthood of Central & Western New York CEO Michelle Casey told local outlet WHEC 10. “And so the cost escalation from just remodeling to completely demolishing and building the building made it cost-prohibitive for us to move in there.”

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Volunteer clinic escort Kaleb Masterson poses outside a Planned Parenthood location in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 12, 2021.

Volunteer clinic escort Kaleb Masterson poses outside a Planned Parenthood location in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 12, 2021. (Reuters/Gaelen Morse)

“We did a market analysis and it really showed that Henrietta was the place to be because you get traffic from Livingston County,” Casey told WHEC 10. “So people in the southern areas have better access to care and the demographics of Henrietta are much younger.”

Abortion – always a contentious issue in national and state politics – has rapidly become the most prominent topic in U.S. politics as a Supreme Court decision threatens to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Protesters pray outside a Planned Parenthood location in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 12, 2021.

Protesters pray outside a Planned Parenthood location in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 12, 2021. (Reuters/Gaelen Morse)

The anticipation for a ruling in this case has already led to protests outside the Supreme Court and the homes of several justices, as well as an attempted murder charge against a man who allegedly plotted to kill Justice Brett Kavanaugh. 

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This was all sparked by the publication of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito that, if published as the court’s opinion, will overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate the recognition of a constitutional right to abortion.

Pro-choice advocates protest outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on May 11, 2022, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Pro-choice advocates protest outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on May 11, 2022, in Chevy Chase, Maryland. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

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The case came about after Mississippi passed a law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, blatantly going against the standard set by Roe that prohibited bans prior to fetal viability – understood to be at about 23 weeks. The ensuing litigation now puts the Supreme Court in a position to review whether a pre-viability ban should be allowed.

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