Sharonville abortion clinic battling city over sign

SHARONVILLE, OH (FOX19) - The Women's Med Center, an abortion clinic, has been on Lebanon Road in Sharonville for three years.

For a majority of that time, they had a sign until it blew down. Now, the business wants to put up a new one.

However, the city says no.

"We have always tried to be a good neighbor by being as low key as possible, through our signage and our actions," said Valerie Haskell, owner of the Women's Med Center.

The sign would stand 8 feet tall and would be closer to Lebanon Road than the previous sign.

"We are code compliant in every other way, including distance from right of way, size and height," said Haskell. "We operate a business at this address, and it is impossible to place a visible sign on our lot without a variance."

The Sharonville Zoning Board of Appeals denied the requested variance, which would have allowed the sign to be 10-feet off the roadway. One member voted in favor and five members against.

"The medical office that you have that performs abortions, it has brought a different essential character to the neighborhood," said Board member Suzy Cole.

In a letter obtained by FOX19, Dr. Steve Brinn the owner of Liberty Sharonville Pediatrics writes, "This clinic has had a multitude of negative effects on our small community and nearby businesses".

Brinn's business is 50 feet away from the Women's Med Center.

In response to the board's decision, Haskell sent FOX19 this statement:

"Their denial is discriminatory against our medical practice because we provide abortions. They let their emotions and personal opinions take control. Ours is the only sign variance to be denied by Sharonville in the past three years."

The Women's Med Center says not being able to have a visible sign has negatively impacted their business. Haskell is suing the City of Sharonville over the matter.

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