BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – The Bristol, Virginia City Council will hear a proposed resolution Tuesday evening that could ban future abortion centers from coming to the area, as well as impose restrictions on the existing one.
The Family Foundation of Virginia is planning to rally at Bristol, Virginia’s City Hall ahead of Tuesday’s meeting. The group opposes abortion and helped create the proposed resolution after they said concerned citizens of Bristol reached out to them.
President of The Family Foundation Victoria Cobb said the group is concerned about Bristol becoming a magnet for the procedure because it’s so close to states where the practice is now illegal.
“There’s some local folks that saw that an abortion provider was already planned to move in,” Cobb said. “There’s a lot of chatter out in the public policy space from groups like Planned Parenthood and independent abortion providers, and I think they simply said is there something that can be done, and Virginia isn’t in a place where our General Assembly is ready to move yet.”
Bristol Women’s Health, a clinic that offers abortion services, moved over the state line earlier this year from Bristol, Tennessee following Tennessee’s ban on abortion.
According to the agenda item summary, the proposal would allow the clinic to still exist, but prohibit it from changing locations or reconstructing its current building. News Channel 11 reached out to the clinic for comment Monday afternoon but has not received a response back.
“If it were to get a favorable vote tomorrow evening and move to the zoning commission, it would not directly affect the existing abortion center,” Cobb said. “However, if it were to need to change locations, or change contracts or new centers.”
A rally has been planned for Tuesday outside of City Hall at 4:30 p.m. with the city meeting directly after at 6 p.m.
“It’s motto is ‘A good place to live,'” Cobb said. “That is the motto of the city, and folks want to make that the case for everyone, born and unborn, and so it’s simply saying that’s our intention, can we have the zoning commission move forward with making that a practical reality.”
News Channel 11 reached out to multiple Bristol, Virginia city leaders Monday but received no comment on the proposed ordinance.