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The WomanCare abortion clinic at 1601 E. Grand River in Lansing. (Emily Lawler |
Emily Lawler | elawler@mlive.comBy Emily Lawler | 
on August 01, 2014 at 1:53 PM, updated August 01, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Catholic church to 'take over' space of Lansing's last free-standing abortion clinic

MLIVE REPORT: LANSING, MI -- A Catholic church will soon "take over" the space currently being rented by the last free-standing abortion clinic in Lansing, the Lansing Diocese announced this week.
Bishop Earl Boyea authorized the Church of the Resurrection, located at 1531 East Michigan Avenue, to lease the 4,100-square-foot office space at 1601 E. Grand River.
The church and the building’s owner have reached an agreement that the Diocese said in a press release would “ultimately put an end to business for WomanCare clinic by Oct. 1, 2014.”
A representative from WomanCare was unavailable for comment on this story. According to the Lansing Diocese, the clinic has been given two months’ notice to vacate the premises.
The Diocese has identified WomanCare as the last free-standing surgical abortion clinic in Lansing. Another area clinic was shut down several years ago, and the Planned Parenthood Lansing Health Center offers abortion referral but not the procedure itself.
Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan President and CEO Lori Lamerand said WomanCare was on the abortion referral list the Lansing Health Center gives to patients.
“We think it’s always a problem. When you reduce access women end up in very difficult situations,” Lamerand said.
In 2012, the legislature passed HB 5711, which placed additional regulations on abortion clinics that Lamerand said have proven costly to implement.
“I think that we will start seeing tragedies as a result of limited access, and I think this is the first of what will likely be many closures,” Lamerand said.
The nearest surgical abortion clinics if WomanCare went out of business would be in Flint, Ann Arbor or Grand Rapids. Planned Parenthood operates health care centers that provide abortion services in Flint and Ann Arbor.
Father Steve Mattson, pastor of the Church of the Resurrection, came up with the plan to take over the space.
“Our parish needs temporary space, because we are converting our rectory and current parish offices into a convent to make room for the incoming Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, who will be serving at Resurrection School and Lansing Catholic High School this fall," he said.
At this new location, overlooking the Groesbeck Golf Course, the offices will allow us to both meet the needs of our parishioners and to affirm our comprehensive pro-life commitment to men and women in greatest need.
We desire for our parish, including our presence at this new site, to be a place of hope and healing for all who have been wounded by the effects of sin in our world.”
The office space will also serve as a hub for pro-life ministry for the newly-created New Life Formation Center.
“We desire to provide real help for individuals and families, and want to help educate our community on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death,” Mattson said. SHARED FROM MLIVE 
Emily Lawler is a Capital/Lansing business reporter for MLive. You can reach her at, subscribe to her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @emilyjanelawler.