In March, I received a call from John Murray, the coordinator of the 40 Days for Life campaign in Fairfax, Virginia. John had heard rumors that the abortion clinic where his group had been holding their 40 Days vigils, NOVA Women’s Health, was closing, but that it might be re-opening in another location. When John told the 40 Days for Life national leadership about what he knew, they advised him to contact the Pro-Life Action League for help.
John learned that NOVA had lost their original location after the owner of the building successfully sued to have the abortionist evicted for being a nuisance—such as women bleeding and vomiting in the hallways. When John called the League, NOVA had not moved out yet, but their days were numbered under the terms of the lawsuit.
Further investigation by local pro-lifers confirmed that not only was NOVA moving, it was moving to a monstrous 20,000 square foot space being renovated for their use in the heart of the city’s downtown area. The Fairfax pro-life activists believe NOVA intends to capitalize on the likely closing of many Virginia abortion facilities in the wake of tough new safety regulations in the state, scooping up their business with a new abortion center that conforms to the new rules.
Independent “Mega-Mill” Comes to Fairfax
I was shocked by this news. Never before had I heard an independent abortionist essentially taking on Planned Parenthood’s “Mega-Mill” strategy, opening a huge, centrally located abortion facility large enough to handle the business of a multi-city area. Fortunately, we at the Pro-Life Action League have a great deal of experience dealing with such a regional abortion facility, thanks to our ongoing battle with the first Planned Parenthood mega-center that opened in Aurora, Illinois in 2007.
I told John about what happened in Aurora and the tools we used to fight Planned Parenthood—like a yard sign campaign, alerting the local media and community, rallying local clergy to speak out against the proposed abortuary and involvement in local government. Then I arranged a conference call with League Executive Director Eric Scheidler so the three of us could devise a strategy to uncover exactly what NOVA Women’s Health was up to and how to fight it.
Abortuary Construction Halted!
Central to the plan was opposing the facility at the Fairfax City Council. On May 14, that portion of the strategy was unfurled as over one hundred pro-lifers packed the city council meeting. The crowd was standing-room-only with many pro-life people signed up to address the council about NOVA’s planned move to the downtown area.
As the public comment section of the meeting was about to begin, the portion of the meeting where the pro-lifers were scheduled to speak, there was a shocking announcement. The council chairman said that the construction of the new space for NOVA had been halted. Apparently NOVA had withdrawn their building permit applications. A cheer went up through the council chambers!
Nevertheless, many of those who had signed up to speak went ahead with their remarks, informing the council of the harms coming to Fairfax if NOVA is allowed to build in their downtown area, and giving them a clear taste of the outrage of the community at this prospect. It was good that they did so, because it was soon discovered that NOVA holds a ten year lease on the space and would be applying to resume construction at a later date.
NOVA had apparently withdrawn their applications because they were one parking space short—a providential error by the architect. However, the Planned Parenthood mega-center in Aurora had been short not one but several dozen parking spaces—a violation ignored by city planners in the months before the public knew the true identity of the builder.
So it seems likely that the growing pro-life opposition to the NOVA expansion was already leading to greater scrutiny of their plans, causing a substantial delay that pro-life activists will be able to use to their advantage, increasing opposition to the center. Moreover, thanks to that packed city council meeting, the mayor of Fairfax has promised to inform the pro-life community of any developments in the case.
At the time of this writing, NOVA has not resubmitted their building permits, but John Murray and the other local activists remain vigilant and ready to oppose them. For our part, we at the Pro-Life Action League are eager to help every way we can.
Let the League Help YOUR Communituy
Fairfax, Virginia, is just one of the many communities all over the country that have turned to the Pro-Life Action League for help when the abortion industry comes to town. If you hear of an abortion clinic coming to your town, or an existing clinic that might be moving or expanding, please call us at 773-777-2900 or email us and we’ll work together to scuttle the abortionists’ plans.