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Pro-Life And Pro-Choice Activists Clash Over Parking Spaces In Front Of Charlotte Clinic

At a standing room only council meeting Monday night, pro-life and pro-choice activists confronted Charlotte City Council, at times shouting down council members, booing speakers, and jabbing fingers at Mayor Jennifer Roberts and council member Julie Eiselt.

The dispute centered around street parking at the Preferred Women's Health Center in east Charlotte, which offers abortion services. Activists aligned with Pro-Choice Charlotte and other pro-choice groups urged the city to install "no parking" signs in front of the clinic, saying pro-life activists routinely parked an RV and other cars there and leaned oversized signs against the vehicles, creating driving hazards and preventing emergency vehicles from accessing the clinic in a timely manner.

Activists aligned with Cities4Life and other pro-life groups argued the "no parking" signs were unnecessary and solely meant to antagonize them. Pastor Daniel Parks said the Mobile Ultrasound RV was staffed with volunteers who provided free ultrasounds and other resources to women, and that volunteers have been able to prevent nearly 3,000 abortions since 2008.

Other speakers for the pro-life groups accused Council Member Julie Eiselt of meeting with pro-choice activists to discuss the no parking signs, but neglecting to speak with them about the issue.

City Council did not take any action on the matter, as it was not planned for in the agenda.

After the citizens' forum, a sizeable group of pro-life activists, many clad in bright blue t-shirts, sang on the steps outside government center, led by a man with a guitar.

Pro-choice activists, meanwhile, said they would continue to push city council to enact "no parking" signs outside the clinic.