What was once an abortion clinic will now be a memorial garden for the unborn, thanks to the efforts of a Christian ministry in an Ohio city.
The Center for Choice, the Uptown Toledo facility where 50,000 abortions were performed between 1983 and 2013, was purchased last week by Agora, a Christian prayer organization, reports the Washington Post. The group, along with several local pro-life organizations, plan to demolish the building and turn the grounds into a green space with benches, said Ed Sitter, executive director of Foundation for Life and Greater Toledo Right to Life.
The pro-life groups had been meeting "in hopes of devising a way to acquire the property and make it a memorial to the unborn and a place of healing, forgiveness and closure for those women and, yes, men who have come to regret their abortion decision," Sitter stated.
"The Lord orchestrated circumstances that enabled Agora to secure the winning big for that property. In fact, the property closing took place this afternoon at 3 o'clock." - See more at:
Carol Dunn, the founder of Center for Choice, said tearing down the building is "a wasteful use of money."
"They have no taste," said Dunn. "It's a lovely building. The floors in there are terrazzo. And outside, when it was cared for, it was a good-looking building. I''m terribly disappointed with the women of northwest Ohio who haven't had the courage to stand up and speak on the issue," she added.
The Center for Choice was not without controversy during its years of activity; the Associated Press reports that it had been the site of numerous protests during the 1980s and ongoing prayer vigils through the decades. A bomb damaged the building in 1986; more than 50 protesters were arrested after forming a blockade outside the clinic's doors in 1989. The clinic was officially shut down last year after it failed to acquire a written transfer agreement with a local full-service hospital as required by Ohio law.
Proponents of the memorial hope the park will encourage patrons to honor the memory of the thousands of aborted children.
"Thousands of children were horrifically murdered on these grounds," says Toledo native Wanda Moore, "the least we can do is create a peaceful space to commemorate them."
The memorial is expected to open to the public sometime next year.