Opponents of Planned Parenthood clinic protest at UG’s public comment session

Opponents of Planned Parenthood locating in Kansas City, Kansas, protested on Thursday night at City Hall and made several comments against it at a Unified Government Commission meeting.

More than 60 persons turned out to oppose a location of Planned Parenthood in Kansas City, Kansas.

According to the opponents, the proposed location was at 6013 Leavenworth Road. Formerly a doctor’s office, it most recently was Swope Health West, which is now listed as being located on State Avenue. A health company with an address in Overland Park was listed as the current owner of the property on the UG’s real estate tax page. The property owner is not listed as Planned Parenthood.

Among those who spoke were members of local churches and members of Kansans for Life, which is against abortions.

At the public forum, Deacon Dave Cresswell from St. Patrick Catholic Church said that allowing Planned Parenthood would not benefit the community. Abortion destroys the life of an unborn child, he said. By allowing Planned Parenthood in Kansas City, Kansas, the UG would be enabling the degradation of women, he said.

Former State Sen. Kevin Braun, a Republican who represented the 5th District, said if Planned Parenthood moves in, Kansas City, Kansas’ reputation would change from positives such as its historical and tourist attractions, to be known as the abortion capital of the Midwest.

He said abortion had a higher impact on minorities than on whites, and that was not the reputation that they want for KCK.

Other speakers talked about the Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic, located around six blocks away, which provides support for pregnant women and their children.

Ron Kelsey, a KCK resident who said he was the president of Planned Parenthood Exposed, asked the UG to deny a certificate of occupancy to Planned Parenthood. Kelsey is the president of the Kansas City Pregnancy Clinic. He said he hoped to have meetings soon with the UG mayor and commission; however, the UG did not put this issue on its agenda Thursday. Kelsey said he was grateful to Commissioner Chuck Stites for his support of efforts to prevent licensing of this facility.

Typically, the UG Commission does not vote on certificates of occupancy. The certificates are issued after a building inspection. Zoning doesn’t usually need to be voted upon if the property is still in the same category, such as health care.

Donna Kelsey said trauma experienced after abortion leads to abuse of drugs, alcoholism, domestic violence and violence against other children people have.

Only two comments were in favor of a Planned Parenthood clinic. They included Rose Eils, whose main comment was to oppose an apartment building near 5th and Central.

Louise Lynch, a resident, said she would like the commission to approve the Planned Parenthood location and give a woman the chance to decide what happens to her body.

Speakers at the public comment time also said the proposed location was not far from Washington High School, and also it was six to eight blocks from two elementary schools.

Planned Parenthood has nearby locations in Overland Park and in Kansas City, Missouri.