Ribbon-cutting goes smoothly for Planned Parenthood in Ferndale (Detroit Free Press)

Published April 4, 2012 by Detroit Free Press.

By Megha Satyanarayana, Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

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Published: 04.04.12| Updated: 04.24.12

About 50 people, including health care providers and politicians, gathered Tuesday at the ribbon-cutting of the new Planned Parenthood clinic in Ferndale.

The clinic officially opened Monday at 23338 Woodward to a short protest by antiabortion activists who have been trying to stop Planned Parenthood from setting up shop in Auburn Hills. Protesters were largely absent at Tuesday's ceremony.

Although the clinic will not perform abortions, Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan CEO Lori Lamerand said the clinic will provide pap smears, birth control and HIV and STD testing and services. Services will include hormone therapies for transgender individuals and eventually, intrauterine insemination.

"This health clinic is going to be our debut in fully trying to welcome the LGBT community," Lamerand said, before taking the celebration to Affirmations, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community center in Ferndale.

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, said the new clinic was a welcome addition to a county lacking low-cost and sliding-scale health care providers.

"Right now, women need to travel for basic health care services," he said.

Lamerand said the opening of the Ferndale clinic did not mean the organization would give up on Auburn Hills. That proposed clinic is mired in litigation, prompted by some of the same antiabortion activists who Lamerand said carried graphic signs and marched near the Ferndale location on Monday.

An Oakland County Circuit Court judge ruled in December in favor of Planned Parenthood building its clinic on Opdyke Road, but the decision was appealed by lawyers for a hotel located behind the proposed clinic. They argue that a medical office is not allowed under an agreement signed between the hotel owner and the owner of the land when the land was sold more than a decade ago. It is not clear whether abortions would be performed in Auburn Hills.

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