…from the Washington Post….
For nearly three years, Jill Dinwiddie worked quietly. She talked to potential donors about how desperately Planned Parenthood needed a new health center, one large enough to add abortion to the clinic’s services for the first time in three decades. She needed to raise $10 million, find a building in the city’s competitive real estate market and renovate it — all without media outlets or protesters finding out.
Dinwiddie and her co-chairs of the capital campaign committee, Crandall Bowles and Linda Hudson, conducted an under-the-
radar search for a real estate agent, purchased a building with a limited-liability company set up to mask the buyer and built a password-protected donation website. When word began to leak to the public about a month ago, the committee already had raised $8.5 million — and a nearly complete health center, more than double the size of the previous facility, stood at 700 S. Torrence St. A ribbon-cutting took place Tuesday, with the operational clinic to open in July.
Even as abortion laws are being rewritten across the country — with several states passing “heartbeat” laws prohibiting abortion after six weeks, Alabama enacting a near-total ban on the procedure, Missouri’s only clinic in jeopardy and Texas seeking to ban cities from partnering with Planned Parenthood — access to abortion is also expanding across parts of the South.
Charlotte is the third Planned Parenthood South Atlantic clinic to add abortion services in the past four years, following Charleston, S.C., last year and Asheville, N.C., in 2015. Ten of the 14 centers in the region will now provide abortion.
The new Charlotte clinic will open as North Carolina’s legislature considers adding further restrictions on the procedure and states gear up for what seems destined to be a challenge to Roe v. Wade.
“We’ve seen this coming for years,” Planned Parenthood South Atlantic chief executive Jenny Black said of newly enacted restrictions. “And we really wanted to put our stake in the ground in Charlotte, and say that access to these services is very important to us and we are going to do what it takes to bring it to fruition for Charlotte.”