A Virginia abortion facility is accused of deceiving a landlord with claims of being a “general family practice” medical clinic in a new lawsuit.
Tennessee Lookout reports property owners Chadwick and Claud King, of Bristol, Virginia, said they never would have leased their property to the Bristol Women’s Health Center if they had known it was an abortion facility.
In a lawsuit, the Kings accused the abortion facility of fraud, saying they were told that their property would be used for a “general family practice” “medical clinic.” Only after they signed the lease did they learn that it actually would be used to abort unborn babies, the lawsuit states.
“At no time during the course of the several days long communication and or negotiations, leading up to the execution of the lease agreement, did the defendants disclose that they intended to operate an abortion clinic,” the lawsuit states.
On its website, the Bristol abortion facility says it specializes in “reproductive health” and abortions, not family practice medicine.
The Kings said they are “morally opposed to the use of their property as an abortion clinic,” and their reputation and finances have suffered as a result of the deal.
The abortion facility moved to Virginia from Tennessee last summer after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Tennessee banned abortions. Bristol is located along the state border.
Responding to the lawsuit this week, lawyers for the abortion facility asserted that it is a “medical clinic” and the landlords could have found that out easily if they had searched online for the names of its operators, Wesley Adams and Diane Derzis, according to the report.
“Defendants cannot be said to have concealed information that was readily publicly available,” they responded.
The abortion facility lawyers also claimed the Kings waited months to file their lawsuit.
However, according to the Kings’ lawsuit, they made several attempts to negotiate a private termination of the lease as soon as they found out about the abortion facility. They filed the lawsuit after the abortion facility owners refused, the lawsuit states.
Abortion facilities do have a reputation for concealing their work from communities while working to open new locations. Some even create shell companies with different names to hide their true identity from landlords, construction workers, local government officials and community members.
Local residents strongly oppose the abortion facility and have urged government leaders to act.
Here’s more from the Tennessee Lookout:
In November, the Washington County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of a resolution saying the county, which encompasses the city of Bristol, did not support having an abortion clinic.
The board also directed the county’s attorney to draft a proposed zoning ordinance restricting abortion clinics within county lines. The board reconvenes in February to consider the proposed ordinance.
The Bristol City Council also is considering a zoning ordinance to prevent more abortion facilities from opening there.
Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation in Virginia, has been encouraging communities to act to protect unborn babies, too.
“Southwest Virginia has become a target for ‘tourism abortion’ because our neighboring states are ahead of our commonwealth in doing the good work of protecting human life within their states,” Cobb said in a statement in October.
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