Group outbids abortionist, closes last city clinic.

If you can’t beat them, buy them.

For years, prolife activists had stood outside Chattanooga Women’s Clinic on abortion days, pleading with women who entered the facility and praying to God to end the killing of unborn life.

Such requests are no longer necessary. Prolifers recently purchased the property, making Chattanooga, Tennessee, population 433,000, the largest city in the United States without an abortion clinic. An existing crisis pregnancy center across the street will move into the building, with long-range plans of incorporating a national memorial to aborted babies.

Prolifers say circumstances leading to the purchase are nothing short of miraculous.

Chattanooga Women’s Clinic opened in 1975, and, for its first decade, the community begrudgingly tolerated it, even though the facility and its operators had been sued five times in that span. But in 1984, a group of about 50 prolifers began picketing and sidewalk counseling at the facility.

The clinic filed a harassment lawsuit against the prolifers, resulting in a permanent injunction prohibiting the prolifers from approaching women in the parking lot who had abortion appointments. The strategy of yelling so the women could hear them did not prove persuasive.

A different strategy

Podiatrist Dennis Bizzoco had been one of those who picketed and counseled at the clinic for nine years. He says a turning point came four years ago when an interdenominational group of 15 men began to meet every Sunday morning for an hour of prayer on the clinic grounds.

“Every Sunday we would ask the Lord to give us the land,” says Bizzoco. But activists did more than pray about bringing an end to abortion at the facility.

Prolifers distributed ...

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