Proposed Planned Parenthood clinic drawing fire from neighbors

April 2, 2013 9:59:38 PM PDT
A proposal to set up a Planned Parenthood clinic in South San Francisco is drawing a lot of fire from its neighbors, even though the clinic won't be providing abortions.

The proposed location is on Grand Avenue near Spruce Avenue. The building is across the street from the City Hall and public library complex. It's also within sight of a Catholic church and a nearby school.

Planned Parenthood says it will not perform abortions there; nevertheless, there's been plenty of opposition to the clinic. There are lots of letters and petitions, mostly from abortion opponents.

Carolyn Rozzi is one of them.

"I'm opposed to abortion, even though they said there's not going to be any procedures but I know it's just to get their foot into the door," she said.

Some business owners are also worried. Most of their concerns center on what they say is the lack of downtown parking. But the city has already approved a parking plan for the clinic, saying there's plenty of space.

Laurie Pirini owns a business next door that sells fireplaces.

"My customers need to park in front of my store; I don't want them to walk for miles to get to me," she said.

But Pirini also voices a concern that some others have -- the threat of protests from abortion opponents.

"People who are going to be blocking my front door from my customers coming in and they're preventing them, then that's going to be affecting my business," she said.

Some remember a fight over parking space in Redwood City two years ago, when Planned Parenthood wanted to open a clinic on El Camino. A car rental agency withdrew its offer to share its parking lot with the clinic at the same protestors threatened to picket their office as well.

Some opponents of the clinic say they are considering appealing the city's approval of the clinic's parking plan. But they'll have to act fast -- the deadline for that appeal is Friday.


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