Rockford business owners fear abortion clinic would be negative impact on area

Constant protests and high traffic levels are just two of the concerns for Maray Drive businesses.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Kristina and Kevin Rose own Carpetland USA, a business run by their family since 1984. They say the past two years, with COVID-19 and inflation, have been difficult on the business. Now they worry an abortion clinic would add yet another obstacle.

“No one really wants their business next to an abortion clinic,” said Kristina. “It’s a very hot topic right now, very controversial.”

The new clinic is set to open on Maray Drive. The Rose’s business is right down the road.

“When all of the parking spaces are being taken by the abortion patients or protestors,” said Kristina. “We’re left with no space for our customers.”

“Businesses along Maray are limited for parking, we’re landlocked,” said Kevin. “With that being said, the one protest we had this early in the game, already created issues.”

The couple is one of several nearby business owners to tell legal experts, at a meeting Wednesday, that protestors outside the clinic will turn customers away.

“There will be non-stop protesting. There is a daycare behind our business where children are going in and out constantly,” said Kristina. “So all the children will be seeing the graphic signs.”

“As a father of seven, to have children see the graphic pictures put out there,” said Kevin. “It saddens me deeply.”

Owners say this has nothing to do with their opinions on abortion, but everything to do with their opinion on business and how it’s conducted.

“They will be attracting patients across the stateline,” said Kristina. “So, the traffic I’m sure you can assume.”

The meeting was arranged by Rockford alderman Frank Beach, who says he’s received several concerned calls from owners in that area.

“It’s better to be proactive dealing with this, than reactive,” said Beach. “I compliment them for being willing to come out here today to begin the dialogue, and actually for being able to get both sides together. That’s positive.”

Some owners say they may seek more legal advice to see how they can further protect their business.

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