Fire marshal closes Muskegon abortion clinic | News
MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- By order of the Muskegon fire marshal, a clinic where abortions are performed is closed until further notice.
The fire marshal found what he considered unsafe conditions during a breaking and entering investigation at Women's Medical Services on East Apple Avenue.
Dr. Robert Alexander runs the clinic. He says he believes anti-abortion protesters broke in through a rear glass door, ransacked the building and caused the code violations.
There are often pro-life demonstrators on the sidewalk outside, even though most of the patients who go to the facility are not getting abortions.
"They stop and ask me questions. I just ignore them," says Kerri Sims, who visits the clinic for treatment of a bulging disc.
Sims says she isn't ready to accuse the protesters of breaking into the doctor's office.
"You know, I'm not really sure," she says. "The older generation, not so much. The younger generation, it's hard to tell."
During the many anti-abortion protests, workers in nearby businesses have met many of the demonstrators.
"I never heard any of them say they were going to burn the place down," says Raymond Meyers, who works at the shop next door. "They were just giving good messages, trying to lead me to their church group."
"They just sit in front of the building, hold signs and honk for life," says Bobbi Tjapkes, a worker at a nearby restaurant. "That's all I've ever seen them do."
Officers with the Muskegon Department of Public Safety say they are still investigating the reported breaking and entering at the clinic, but they don't identify any suspects.
Dr. Alexander says only about 25% of his patients come for abortions, while most have other medical needs.
"I have no idea what I'm going to do now," says Sims. "It was easy to come around the corner to my doctors appointments. Now I can't."