ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The City of Rockford is being sued by neighbors of a new abortion clinic, who claim it illegally allowed a medical facility to open in a residential neighborhood.

Residents Shawn and Lisa Rylatt, Janet Savaiano, and Amie Lotzer filed suit in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court on Monday, alleging that the Rockford Zoning Board of Appeals issued a permit for the clinic, at 611 Auburn Street, to operate despite violating city statutes.

The lawsuit claims that the abortion clinic was given a permit to operate as a home business, even though medical clinics are prohibited by Section 53-004-K of the Rockford Zoning Ordinance.

It also claims that the owner of the building, Dr. Dennis Christensen, was given the ability to run the clinic as a home business even though he does not live there.

The suit accuses the Zoning Board of allowing the clinic to operate there because of a special use permit issued in 1981 to the prior owner, Dr. Sam Chin, who ran a chiropractic business out of the first floor.

The suit also says the clinic does not have the legal authority to issue retail medications which are used in chemical abortions.

The plaintiffs in the case argue that “Due to the controversial nature of Dr. Christensen’s business as a provider of chemical abortions, the neighborhood surrounding the Subject Property has been substantially and negatively impacted.”

The suit says there have been gatherings of several hundred protesters in the neighborhood, which have resulted in fights, traffic congestion, and police intervention. The plaintiffs also claim their property values have been negatively affected.

The suit is asking the court to revoke the permit for the clinic.

Christensen, his business, and the Rockford Zoning Board of Appeals are also named as defendants in the suit.

Christensen previously operated an abortion clinic at 1400 Broadway, which closed in 2012. He has also purchased the former Animal Emergency Clinic, at 4236 Maray Drive.

Abortion is now illegal in Wisconsin and surrounding states, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v Wade. Gov. JB Pritzker has declared Illinois is a pro-choice state, causing patients from neighboring states to come to Illinois for an abortion.