Judge: Planned Parenthood can build Auburn Hills clinic
An Oakland County judge upheld Planned Parenthood’s right Tuesday to build a clinic in Auburn Hills, thwarting a yearlong fight by abortion opponents to stop the organization from moving into the county.
At the hearing, Circuit Judge James Alexander said lawyers representing those opposed to Planned Parenthood failed to show how the clinic, set for a business-zoned area of Opdyke Road, would violate restrictions set forth when the land was split for sale more than a decade ago.
He scolded lawyers representing the opponents for arguing on the assumption that the clinic would provide abortion services, when local Planned Parenthood officials have said repeatedly that they may not.
“Let me stop this right now,” said Alexander, as attorney James Carey referred to the clinic as “an abortion clinic” in the beginning of his arguments. “This is not an abortion case. This is a property case.”
Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan CEO Lori Lamerand said the organization bought the property in 2010 after finding that 5,400 Oakland County residents were going to other Planned Parenthood clinics and learning that federal funds were available for family planning for low-income people.
“It’s a wonderful thing, primarily not for Planned Parenthood, but for the women who need health care in Oakland County,” she said.