Judge orders Florida Planned Parenthood clinic to stop performing abortions and ultrasounds
A Planned Parenthood clinic in Kissimmee, Florida has been ordered to stop performing abortions and ultrasounds because such procedures may violate zoning restrictions on the property, The Orlando Sentinel reports.
The deed on the property specifically restricts tenants from running an outpatient surgery center, an emergency medical center, or a diagnostic imaging center, as well as perform any procedures that are “obnoxious or out of harmony with other developments” in the area.
Circuit Judge John Jordan ordered the clinic, which is located across the street from the Osceloa Regional Medical Center, to stop performing the procedures because there is a “substantial likelihood of proving” that the Planned Parenthood clinic was violating its contract with the property owners. In his ruling, Judge Jordan said that abortions violate the stricture against outpatient surgical procedures, and that performing ultrasounds amounts to running a diagnostic imaging center.
He dismissed the plaintiff’s claims that distribution of the morning-after pill constitutes an emergency medical procedure and that the clinic is “obnoxious or out of harmony with other developments” on the property. However, he noted that Planned Parenthood “purchased the property with the knowledge of the restrictions and proceeded at its own peril.”
Judge Jordan also ruled that Planned Parenthood of Orlando’s CEO, Jenna Tosh, was not qualified to interpret the restrictions placed upon the clinic. “The Court notes that Ms. Tosh’s education does not involve any formal medical training,” he wrote, “and cannot escape the fact that Ms. Tosh’s own words repeatedly employ the phrase ‘surgical abortions.'”
The injunction has been praised by those affiliated with the Stop Planned Parenthood Kissimmee movement, including neighboring physicians like John Littell, who told WKMG that “You can look out the windows of labor and delivery and you can see women walking into and out of an abortion clinic.”
Dr. Littell then added that the deed restriction “specifically states that no one should come in here and open a surgical center, perform surgical procedures, without the permission from the rest of the folks in here.”
[Image via Stop Planned Parenthood of Kissimmee‘s official Facebook page]