SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The Glenwood area's first groundbreaking on a new building in 20 years was met by protesters Wednesday.
In just about a year from now, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon will open a new Regional Health and Education Center.
And while it's new development, dozens of protesters armed with signs wanted to make their voices heard about their opposition to the center and the services it will provide, like birth control and medical abortions that require a pill. The facility also will have a space for surgical abortions, although the service won't be immediately available.
"They put the appearance that they represent a good thing," said protester Eric Walter. "The truth is, this is really the death to our, to our community."
The protesters stood just outside the gated area where the groundbreaking took place.
"We are hoping that by standing out here, others will be thinking about this and preferably we'll see facilities like this close down," said Walter.
Inside the lot, state and city leaders including Senator Ron Wyden, Congressman Peter Defazio and Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy joined in the groundbreaking of the new site.
The new center will eventually replace two smaller centers in Springfield and Eugene.
"It'll be a two-story center with the health center on the ground floor and our administrative offices on the second floor," said Cynthia Pappas, CEO of PPSO.
It will also provide an expanded education center allowing Planned Parenthood to do more trainings around healthy sexuality according to Pappas.
Currently Planned Parenthood serves 21,000 clients in Lane County, now they'll be able to serve close to 31,000.
Pappas said it will also create around 100 new construction jobs and a handful of new Planned Parenthood jobs as well.
"We're embracing the future. We know that our clients depend on us and it makes it even more special," said Pappas.