Planned Parenthood to open in Charleston

Image by Planned Parenthood Health SystemsImage by 20080627pphs.jpg This is the building at 200 Rutledge Ave. that Planned Parenthood purchased in December for about $1.25 million. The group plans to open a health center here sometime this year.

Planned Parenthood Health Systems — an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, will be opening a health center in Charleston, the nonprofit organization has confirmed in their 2007 annual report. The nonprofit organization bought a building at 200 Rutledge Ave., near Cannon, in December, and rumors had been flying since then about what they would do with the property.

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From The Post and Courier:

Initially, the center will not offer abortion services, officials said, pointing out that abortions already are offered by other providers in the Charleston area.

Steve Gajdosik, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, said, "The presence alone here sadly is likely to increase abortions here, whether surgical or chemical, and the result is still a dead baby. It's a sad day for Charleston."


When opening a new center, Planned Parenthood Health Systems said the affiliate considers community support and whether there is a need for greater access to health services. Officials said Charleston met both criteria.

As one might expect, there is opposition to Planned Parenthood coming to Charleston, mainly by anti-abortion activists. Kathy Schmugge of Charleston writes on the blog The Dawn Patrol that "an ecumenical effort has begun linking people from all faiths who oppose Planned Parenthood and want to inform the public about their concerns with Planned Parenthood coming to Charleston."

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