The grit of Central Texas builders opposed to the construction of a Planned
Parenthood facility has the national abortion provider on the defensive and
concerned the defiance could be replicated across the country.
“Help us counter an outrageous episode of anti-choice intimidation now
taking place in Texas,” reads an “urgent alert” posted on Planned Parenthood’s website. “Anti-choice fanatics across the country are watching closely. … Right now they are preparing to export this blackmail scheme to other areas of the country. This is a chilling development that has the potential to seriously disrupt the delivery of reproductive health care.”
As part of a “mobilization campaign,” the national organization is soliciting donations to raise the remaining $300,000 needed to build a $4.2 million health center in Austin, Texas, plus finance a “bold national campaign” to thwart opposition to abortion facilities across the country.
In addition to offering family planning, cancer screening, gynecological exams and AIDS testing, the health center will provide abortions. The new structure is being built to replace an existing facility that does not perform abortions and currently refers over 2,000 women a year to local abortion providers.
reported Browning Construction, the general contractor overseeing the
construction of the 9,931-square-foot clinic, pulled out last month amid a
burgeoning boycott by subcontractors.
Chris Danze, chairman of the Austin Area Pro-Life Concrete Contractors and
Suppliers Association, organized a boycott of the project shortly after workers broke ground in late September, seeking to “stop it, slow it down or make it
Danze sent a letter to more than 750 chief executives of construction-related companies in Central Texas and San Antonio asking them not to supply materials or work on the clinic. The letter was signed by 88 local business owners, physicians, friends and family members.
“Planned Parenthood and its agenda is bad for our community, bad for women and bad for children,” Danze told WorldNetDaily.
According to Danze, as many as 70 contractors officially registered their
participation, and several others unofficially pledged cooperation but did not want to be named.
Despite the blow, Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region vows construction of the health center will resume. Officials with the local organization have declared it will act as its own general contractor and rely on the assistance of other general contractors they said came forward after Browning backed out. The grand opening is expected to be delayed a month or two.
The Texans’ stand ignited a battle royal among national abortion supporters.
Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, sent
out an e-mail to some 80,000 abortion-rights advocates across the country to
advertise the group’s effort to protect the Austin project.
The e-mail references Danze by name, calls him an “out-of-control anti-choice fanatic” and accuses him of harassing local builders and threatening to blacklist them.
“As alarming as you and I find his blacklist strategy, anti-choice activists around the country consider Mr. Danze a hero – and right now, they’re eagerly pursuing ways to bring his harassing tactics to more communities,” Feldt wrote in the e-mail. “We’ve got to let friends and foes alike know that, for every out-of-control anti-choice fanatic that crawls out of the woodwork, there are thousands of us – ready, willing and able to defend the essential health services that Planned Parenthood clinics provide for women and families all across this country.”
Abortion opponents tell WorldNetDaily Feldt was right about one thing: Danze is a hero and they seek to mobilize others to follow his example.
“We’ve been getting e-mails from people who heard about the boycott asking, ‘What can I do?’” David Bereit, executive director of the Coalition for Life in Bryan, Texas, told WorldNetDaily.
The community-based organization founded in 1998 to oppose the growth of Planned Parenthood in Central Texas has organized a rally in Austin tonight, at which Danze will be a guest speaker.
“We felt this was a natural next step to continue to educate and mobilize people to press on. The job is not yet done,” Bereit said. “Every citizen can play a part and use their gifts and talents to increase respect and protection of life.”
Bereit said the initiative had become a “united front” as 16 other pro-life groups had set aside differences and partnered with the coalition for the event – including the American Life League and Stop Planned Parenthood International.
Two other rallies will take place in College Station tomorrow and Houston on Thursday.
In a separate initiative, Danze supporters launched a website to inform residents about the boycott.
The website also seeks to educate them about Planned Parenthood’s founder and eugenics proponent Margaret Sanger, and to gather electronic signatures from Central Texans opposed to the clinic through an online petition.
“It’s a small effort to honor the sacrifices made by the businesses who took a financial hit to walk away from contracts with Planned Parenthood,” explains website creator Joe Hootman.
A list of the contractors who abstained is provided on the site.
Last year, 79,865 abortions were performed in Texas, compared with 81,686 in 1998, according to Texas Department of Health statistics. Abortions are performed in 25 of the 254 counties in Texas, up from 22 in 1998.
On its website, Planned Parenthood states 19 percent of all pregnancies in Texas result in abortions.
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