KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Work is underway to renovate a medical office in Kissimmee into a Planned Parenthood but not all residents are happy about the new addition to the community.
Planned Parenthood said Osceola County is rapidly growing and there's been an increase in demand for affordable health services.
Planned Parenthood CEO Jenna Tosh said abortions account for less than 10 percent of their services, and she said they’re not focusing on the critics.
“More than 90 percent of what we do is life-saving preventive care,” she said. “We’re just focused on opening this center and opening our doors to everyone in the community.”
But more than two dozen residents voiced their concerns about the nonprofit and some called on county officials to step in and prevent them from opening.
“We do not want a death factory in our back yard,” one resident said at a city commission meeting Tuesday night.
“Do not let one of our attractions be baby-killing,” another resident said.
One supporter, however, told Channel 9 she goes to Planned Parenthood for basic medical care because she's uninsured and can't pay for regular checkups with other doctors.
"Four in 10 Latina teens experience at least one pregnancy before the age of 20, so we're very excited to be serving the broader community of Osceola County," said Tosh.
Services will also include breast and cervical cancer screenings and STD testing and
A city spokesperson said Planned Parenthood purchased the building, which was zoned for medical offices, in late 2013. The building is located across the street from Osceola Regional Medical Center.
Most of the people who spoke at the meeting are upset the facility will perform abortions, among other health care services.
City leaders said they can’t stop the facility from opening, because it’s replacing another one.
“The folks moving in there are providing medical services, just like the person who just left, so there’s no rezoning. There’s no land use,” Mayor Jim Swan said. “We had no authority. I know most folks don’t understand that.”
The facility is schedule to open in late May.
One commissioner said they would consider talking to state legislators about how much funding Planned Parenthood receives.