Dozens protest new pro-life clinic - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dozens protest new pro-life clinic

by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Choices Medical Clinic is opening its doors next month on South Gilbert Street in Iowa City, just a mile from the Emma Goldman Clinic.

Two clinics offering care for pregnant women. Two clinics with missions that are miles apart. And the newest is already opening its doors to controversy.

"What we do is just provide an alternative of compassionate care for women," said clinic Executive Director Rachel Owen.

It's an alternative that brought out dozens from the University of Iowa Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance -- protesting at an open house for Choices Medical Clinic.

"We see it as a fake medical clinic," said protestor Laura Kacere.

"They're intentionally misleading women to promote an anti-choice political agenda," agreed protestor Megan Felt.

Protestors like Kacere say they've seen crisis pregnancy centers like the one opening in Iowa City before. Her concern: the clinic will provide false information to its patients.

"These women are in a vulnerable position and that's when they need to be educated comprehensively about their rights, about their options," said Kacere.

Owen admits one of the clinic's goals is to eliminate the need for abortion. But she says that won't come at the cost of integrity.

"We will not be manipulating them into any decision," said Owen. "We again, give the facts."

Similar centers have faced this criticism. But many of those are federally funded. Owen says this will be a non-profit clinic, supported entirely by donors. But she realizes that along with supporters, there will also be detractors.

"The more I'm talking to you the more excited I am to have protestors out there, I guess because it's going to be an opportunity for us to show our compassion and our love because we are really not here to deceive people," said Owen.

"We don't necessarily want to shut this place down or anything, I mean they do have a right to be here," said Kacere. "We just don't want any women to come here with the idea that they're getting a full comprehensive education about their rights."

One of the board members said the clinic will be staffed with registered medical personnel.  He described the protest simply as good publicity.

Choices Medical Clinic's tentative opening date is April 20th.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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