Just because a Planned Parenthood branch in California closed down doesn’t mean it will escape justice being sought in a lawsuit that alleges the abortion business illegally tried to suppress the constitutional rights of its critics.
That’s according the Pacific Justice Institute, which filed two lawsuits over Planned Parenthood’s operations in Vacaville, California.
The first lawsuit, against a landlord who reneged on a lease agreement with a pro-life organization when Planned Parenthood objected, has been dismissed because the Planned Parenthood clinic closed its doors permanently.
A second lawsuit, over Planned Parenthood’s “ruthless” campaign to suppress the rights of the Solano Alpha Crisis Pregnancy Center, will continue.
PJI’s founder, Brad Dacus, confirmed the second lawsuit “for the discovered emails between Planned Parenthood employees that prove the abortion business’s ruthless and illegal attempt to suppress the voices of the pro-life community” will go on.
In his announcement Friday, Dacus said the good news is that the Planned Parenthood business “has abruptly shut down and moved out.”
He explained Alpha is a pro-life ministry that has been in operation since 1984, providing women with alternatives to abortion.
“They depend on donations, volunteers, and prayers in order to give compassionate care to their patients in Solano County,” Dacus said.
“For three years, PJI has represented the Alpha ministry in their legal battle against a Vacaville property owner who refused to honor Alpha’s lease that allowed them to rent office space across the hall from a Planned Parenthood clinic. Alpha never even had the chance to move into their new facility. PJI filed a lawsuit against the property owner for not honoring the lease, with a trial date set for July 11, 2017.”
That case, he explained, has been dropped because the Planned Parenthood clinic closed its doors.
However, it was only a few months ago that PJI found Planned Parenthood “had heavily pressured the landlord to reject Alpha’s lease,” actions that prompted the second lawsuit, against the Northern California affiliate of Planned Parenthood.
“Friends, no pro-life organization should be denied their rights based on their deeply-held beliefs. Our legal team at PJI continues to faithfully defend our fellow believer’s opportunities to live out their faith and to encourage women to choose life,” Dacus explained. “Pacific Justice Institute is pursuing the lawsuit we filed in the Superior Court of Solano County against Planned Parenthood based on emails sent between the employees of Planned Parenthood. These emails are evidence that Planned Parenthood intentionally violated the business relations and civil rights of our client, Alpha Pregnancy Clinics of Northern California.”
WND reported when the second case arose.
Court documents revealed Colleen Coliucci, a facilities coordinator for Planned Parenthood’s business operations, emailed the building owner and said: “Warren, I’ve been alerted by some of my staff about a suite near ours that may have been rented by a direct protester of our services. Can you confirm this rumor? Clearly that will be a significant problem if they are allowed to disrupt our services in any way.”
When Planned Parenthood exchanged emails about the issue, Coliucci soon followed up with another missive to the owner, stating: “The Anti-Choice group who is boasting about possibly moving in next to us is 40 Days For Life. … We feel very strongly that this would significantly impact our business and possibly cause unavoidable impacts and disturbances with your other tenants on any level [if] they were to have access to the building.”
The next morning the owner, Warren Owens, emailed his manager with the message, “We have a problem.”
During a telephone conversation, the complaint notes, the manager asked the owner, “Are you sure you want to cancel this deal?”
Owens confirmed that was his goal.
He followed up in writing, “I would like to remove the offer to lease.”
Pacific Justice said the interference was inappropriate.
“No ministry should be denied the ability to rent space based on their deeply held beliefs. The evidence we have uncovered shows that Planned Parenthood will stop at nothing to protect its abortuaries and suppress the voices of the pro-life community,” Dacus said at the time. “In this case, they broke the law and must be held accountable.”
The Alpha center had followed with a request of the management agency.
“Please confirm where we are on the lease. Obviously Alpha desires to honor the agreement and move in as planned. If the landlord is refusing to honor the lease, please let us know in writing of his refusal and the reason for this.”
The dispute quickly escalated, with Coliucci’s manager emailing: “[The landlord] has now told them he will not rent and they have indicated they will sue him for … I am not sure what … rental discrimination?”
“He is nervous, has a lawyer and his lawyer would love to talk to one of ours,” the memo continued.
The email included “Happy Thanksgiving” and the recommendation from Nat Okey, another abortion industry employee, “I’d like to suggest we do something nice for the landlord like a holiday basket and signed card from all the health center staff in Vacaville thanking him for supporting us.”
The lawsuit explains: “As a result of Nor. Cal. Planned Parenthood’s false, misleading and vindictive communications to the owner, the owner will not perform on the lease. The inducement not to perform the lease was based on Alpha’s actual or perceived membership in a protected religious class, Alpha’s actual or perceived religiously based practices, and Alpha’s actual or perceived religiously based views on the sanctity of human life.
“Refusing to engage in commerce because of actual or perceived membership in a protected class is against public policy as codified in the Unruh Act,” the lawsuit said.
“As a result of the loss of the opportunity to take possession of Suite 230, Alpha has suffered, and continues to suffer, economic loss.”
The suit seeks statutory damages, punitive damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.