West Ashley dentist receives threatening letters over "alliance" with women's clinic

Dentist criticized for letting doctor use his parking lot

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A West Ashley dentist told police that an unidentified abortion protester has been mailing threatening letters to his business because the dentist allowed a doctor from the nearby women’s clinic to use his parking lot.

Michael Engel, who has a dental practice on Ashley River Road, says he does not allow anyone on his property except employees and patients. According to a police report, a doctor from Charleston Women’s Medical Center “is only allowed to use his parking lot to access the backdoor to the women’s clinic.” The women’s center is the site of frequent protests, especially on Saturdays, when a hodgepodge of religious protesters assemble near the edge of the property to hold signs and hand out pamphlets to women. The clinic provides abortions in addition to routine gynecological services and birth control.

The report states that Engel received two letters at his office with no signature and no return address on March 18 and 20. Both letters “state that the Pro-Life Community hopes Mr. Engel ends his alliance with the women’s clinic to protect his reputation in the Lowcountry area,” according to the report.

Engel told police that he has No Trespassing signs posted at his office and has seen several unknown people on his property whom he believes to be abortion protesters.

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