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November 10, 2003

Building a Planned Parenthood Clinic

By Byron LaMasters

I know. I'm late on this one:

Construction on Planned Parenthood's South Austin clinic took a hard hit this week when the project's general contractor walked away because of intense pressure from abortion opponents.

Planned Parenthood officials said Browning Construction -- a San Antonio company that is one of the state's largest building contractors -- broke its contract to oversee construction of the 9,931-square-foot clinic.

"They were afraid their business could not survive this project," said Glenda Parks, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region.

In a written statement, company President James Browning said, "We have requested that the construction contract be terminated because we are unable to secure and retain adequate subcontractors and suppliers to complete the project in a timely manner, due to events beyond our control."

Planned Parenthood has not decided whether to take legal action and is exploring its options.

The clinic, to be located at 201 E. Ben White Blvd., would be the fourth licensed abortion provider in Austin.

It would also provide medical services such as tubal ligations, vasectomies, HIV testing and routine gynecological exams for poor or uninsured women.

Parks said two other contractors have volunteered to spearhead the construction but wouldn't give their names. Though work on the building has slowed, she said it has not stopped.

"I think in about two weeks, you'll see work as usual," she said.

On Wednesday, three former Austin mayors, a state representative and an Austin City Council member held a news conference calling on people to support Planned Parenthood.

The news conference came the same day President Bush signed a ban on a certain type of late-term abortion.

"People in Austin are tolerant," said state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin. "They are for affordable health care. We are not going to let a small group of radicals change that."

Browning's departure comes after hundreds and possibly thousands of people across the country participated in an Austin-led campaign to cripple the project.

In September, Chris Danze -- president of Maldonado and Danze Inc., a concrete construction contractor -- organized a boycott.

"Planned Parenthood is an organization with a health care wrapper, but it is a social movement at its core," he said. It's "a social movement that promotes sexual chaos, especially among our youth. Out of this sexual chaos comes the violence of abortion. That is the heart and soul of this movement."

The 48-year-old Austin man, who said he personally assists women who have troubled pregnancies, persuaded concrete suppliers to boycott the project. He kept a list of companies that worked on the facility, contacted churches and asked pro-life supporters to call the contractors.

Word got out.

News outlets across the country picked up the story, including the Christian Broadcasting Network, Parks said. Hundreds of people called companies working on the clinic.

One contractor received 1,200 calls to his business line, Parks said. Another received several hundred at his home.

Parks said the contractors felt harassed and threatened. Danze said he has told callers to be polite and respectful.

"The calls involved two elements," Danze said. "The first is that it's wrong to build an abortion chamber. The second is that it's bad for future business."

Former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd called that "economic blackmail."

"It's about tyranny," he said. "It's about harassment."

Texas Right to Life Director Elizabeth Graham called Danze a modern-day hero whose actions could inspire others to stand up against abortion. She could not recall another similar boycott in Texas.

But Kae McLaughlin of the Texas Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League called people like Danze a "tiny, vicious minority that wants its way."

Meanwhile, the battle continues. Danze says he'll continue to push the boycott. Parks says the project will move forward and that she has no plans to contact Danze.

"I don't think there's a lot of middle ground between us," she said.

Bruce Todd has it exactly right. This is "economic blackmail". A small group of radical activists have stopped constuction on a medical clinic, and it's a real shame. Off the Kuff has the story as well. I'd urge my readers to join me in following the course of action suggested by The Gunther Concept:

Okay, so all’s fair in love and war. But it seems to me that the folks behind this boycott/harassment campaign should be fair targets as well. If they think that it is their right to threaten the economic livelihood of people they don’t agree with, and call them at their home or place of business, they should be prepared to accept the same treatment. With that in mind, I’m posting below contact information for some of the individuals mentioned in the story as being behind this effort. Please use this information responsibly. Be polite but firm. Let them know that you don’t appreciate their infringement on individual rights. Call often. For businesses, let them know that you will boycott them and encourage others who do business with them to do the same.

Christopher Danze

Home Tel.: (512) 306-1326

Maldonado & Danze Inc
Business Tel.: (512) 837-9677

David Bereit

Home Tel.: (979) 690-3009

Bereit is represented by the Ambassador’s Speakers Bureaufor his role as a motivational speaker. Feel free to call them and let them know how you feel about the fact that they represent a client who has no regard for women’s rights.

Toll-Free Phone: (877) 425-4700, ext. 235
Fax: (615) 661-4344
E-mail: gloria.leyda@AmbassadorAgency.com

Mark Lynn Proeger

He lives in Austin. There is a contact number for a church he works at, but I do draw the line somewhere. However, he is in the habit of leading a series of informal meetings (“LQFA ; Lots of Questions, a Few Answers”) discussing faith type issue at a local coffee house. Call them up and let them know how you feel about the fact that they host an event run by someone who opposes women’s rights.

Spiderhouse Coffee Shop

Business Tel.: 512 480 9562

It's critical that these folks here understand that the majority of people in Austin are pro-choice and want women to be able to have access to the health care resources provided by Planned Parenthood. It's a disgrace that this had to happen in the first place. We'll build this clinic. Hand me a shovel.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at November 10, 2003 11:05 PM | TrackBack


Wow. That is wonderful news. Even if they do start construction back up again, they delay could save dozens of lives.


Posted by: Sherk at November 10, 2003 11:23 PM

Grand! I never have time to write responses at BOR but I must comment on one of the greatest of the right wing myths: Planned Parenthood killing babies. Rather than trying to educate pre teens how not to get pregnant, the right would rather use the scare tactic of "you have sex, you're going to hell." Planned Parenthood fills in the void between that "you have sex" and "you're going to hell" by teaching teens about safe and responsible sex, not only the “responsible abstinence" approach which the right loves sooooo much. (although it should be a chapter in a sex ed class, but abstinence should NOT be the whole book on sex ed). And again, Planned Parenthood does not conduct abortions, they give alternatives and referrals to an agency or a doctor to whatever the woman chooses.

There is also a whole lot more to planned parenthood, it provides health care resources, pregnancy alternates as adoption and respecting the women’s right to choose, and some other stuff I don't really want to get into what they do because you can view it on a local website or enter a clinic. Yes, the delay might be helping save some lives (probably those of the construction worker who will have a few more seconds added in their lives for not providing the labor) but it would save a lot more once it opened.

Posted by: Mike at November 11, 2003 01:22 AM

right wing myths: Planned Parenthood killing babies.

There are already plenty of Planned Parenthood facilities in the Austin area. But none that perform abortions. This particular facility was specifically programmed to provide that "functionality" for the Planned Parenthood "mission".

Posted by: Mark Harden at November 11, 2003 07:10 AM

Dear Mark--
1) Zygotes are not babies. Fetuses are not babies.
2) Abortion is legal.
3) Childbearing is hard on your body, on your life, and and on your relationships. Anyone who has ever helped raise a child knows this.
4) Women who choose to abort are taking hard, realistic looks at their lives and are making a legal and ethical choice.
5) There are other abortion providers in town. Delaying construction of this clinic does not stop women from excercising their legal rights. But it does prevent Planned Parenthood from offering comprehensive gynecological services which include minor day surgeries like pregnancy termination, but also tumor biopsies and genital wart removal.

When I read posts like yours, the smugness and satisfaction of the tone makes me think that this is either a man who has never had contact with an infant with colic, or who has a wife at home who is slowly losing her mind.

Posted by: Lo at November 11, 2003 10:02 AM

But it does prevent Planned Parenthood from offering comprehensive gynecological services which include minor day surgeries like pregnancy termination, but also tumor biopsies and genital wart removal.

If Planned Parenthood would restrict their actions to those, there would be no construction boycott. By instead insisting on providing abortions as well, PP invites the moral backlash of the overwhelming majority of Texans.

Posted by: Mark Harden at November 11, 2003 10:38 AM

"Zygotes are not babies. Fetuses are not babies."

Who are you to decide that? Abortion advocates frequently complain that pro-lifers want infringe the rights of women based on their moral beliefs, but how does anyone have the right to end the life of an unborn child simply because they believe, for whatever religious or irreligious reasons, that that child has no rights.


Posted by: Sherk at November 11, 2003 12:00 PM

Who are you to decide that? Abortion advocates frequently complain that pro-lifers want infringe the rights of women based on their moral beliefs, but how does anyone have the right to end the life of an unborn child simply because they believe, for whatever religious or irreligious reasons, that that child has no rights.
Why does the zygote have more rights than a woman to protect her body? Until the moment of birth, a fetus lives off a woman's body, and it consumes a good portion of it. The damage to a mother's bones alone would count as assault if it was inflicted by another person.
This is the major flaw in the logic of granting legal personhood to fetuses-- if a woman does not want to grant this person access to her body, she can't get a restraining order, or get it charged for assault, or trespass. The actors are not equal partners here. She either consents, and the life can develop, or she doesn't, and it stops there. Sometimes, her body will force that end of consent and she will miscarry. Sometimes, she has to force that end of consent. The fetus, on the other hand, does not possess a will. It simply grows, and consumes.

Posted by: Lo at November 12, 2003 02:50 PM

Free Speech is a Bitch aint it? Economic Blackmail? Har De Har Har Har!

More power to em, i say

Posted by: Vigilance Matters at November 13, 2003 08:46 AM

hey guys, mark here. kinda funny (and a bit strange) to see my name listed as someone to call. by the way, if you want to call someone, call me at 512-775-2932, that is my number.

i will gladly take your calls and try to be as kind and loving as possible (by God's grace). my goal is not to hurt women. my goal is not to be judgmental. my goal is to save innocent lives (of women and their children) who are ravaged by the effects of abortion.

i know too much about abortion to pretend it is anything other than a violent intrusion (albeit on a sometimes willing participant) due to a society that has lied to us about its effects.

i have a good friend working on his PhD in clinical psychology at a major university(he received his masters at Oxford) who has done extensive studies on just this subject. it is nothing short of horrifying to hear the of the effects that abortion has on women. this is kept under wraps because it is not considered politically correct to discuss it. this alone should scare you or at least concern you.

medically the links to cancer are growing stronger with each new study released. several of the major cancer organizations that used to disavow any such link have weakened their stance to something like "inconclusive" as they try to walk the dangerous line between political correctness and litigation as women recognize the link more and more and look to sue someone (anyone) who may have kept them in the dark.

of course as a pro-lifer, i also believe that abortion kills an innocent child. this can not be overlooked and shouldn't be brushed over.

as for planned parenthood, don't even get me started. margaret sanger (founder) was an adamant racist and elitist whose whole goal was to minimize the populations of the "lesser races." she wrote letters praising hitler for his eugenics and did more than anyone else in the history of the world to bring abortion, sterilization and other such violent activities to the forefront of american society. she always put her clinics in the poor neighborhoods to keep the scum there from breeding uncontrolled. quite simply, she was an evil woman with an agenda to protect wealthy white interests in America.

now here is the part where you start to wonder....."is this true?"

well it is most certainly true, and most informed people (even on the pro-choice side) won't even try to defend her. rather, what they say is," yeah, she was a sick woman, but who cares, planned parenthood doesn't stand for that today." well you have to ask yourself whether or not that is altogether true. they have continued all of Sanger's original goals and have been wildly successful at doing it. if she were alive today she would be thrilled to death at their success. so while i may grant you that your average PP worker is probably not involved in a massive racist conspiracy, their continued efforts along the same trajectory still accomplish the original goals quite nicely.

it is for this reason that i despise PP and everything they stand for. i don't despise the individuals involved or working for PP, rather i despise the isidious evil that took root in their organization from its inception and continues to this day......

i would love to hear comments as it is not my heart or goal to make brash announcements and then disappear. i will try to check back periodically to see if i can discuss this with anyone.....


mark proeger

Posted by: mark at November 19, 2003 11:08 PM

Men and women do have a CHOICE: to have or not have sex with one, multiple, or irresponsible partners before or within a marriage which may produce a child.

The CHOICE of men and women having sex outside of a monogamous relationship is having a profound affect on this world. 3.1 million people died of AIDS in the year 2002 alone, 610,000 WERE CHILDREN under the age 15. The primary means of transmitting HIV is of course, sex. If people had sex within a monogamous marriage AIDS would stop dead in its tracks, no millions of dollars in finding cure, no more innocent lives lost. People will say that is not living in a real world but people cannot face up to the reality that it is truth.

People like Mr. Danze fear for our children. Our young must be informed that their CHOICE to have sex WILL have an impact on themselves and the people around them. The "FREEDOM OF CHOICE" to the aborted child, STD infected child, or the unwanted child has been denied by the “FREEDOM OF CHOICE” their parents have exercised. The child did not CHOOSE to be in that condition.

The agenda of Planned Parenthood appears to be all about sex. The "FREEDOM OF CHOICE" for women to have sex however they CHOOSE. Just research the founder of PP, Margaret Sanger, her philosophy and intentions are downright frightening.

The term "health care for women" is a ruse; PP is primarily an abortion facility making money on fetal/baby tissue, research it. First hand experience from my sister-in-law convinced me of their intentions. She became pregnant at the age of 16 and repeatedly PP encouraged her to have an abortion. Her and the father of the child CHOSE to marry and are the proud parents of the most beautiful daughter any parent could have.

Another married couple I know recently gave birth to a child with Down Syndrome, again, she is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. Her father and mother love her so much.

Whether they realize it or not. I believe the majority of people who work or are involved with PP simply do not love children, they love sex. They encourage it, they promote it, and they defend indiscriminate sex.

The young do not need to be educated about sex as PP does. They need to be encouraged for the love and respect of life for themselves, others, and for our children. They need to know that whatever state they are in they are valuable.

If people argue that those who are pro-life should personally take care of the unwanted children then those who are pro-choice should personally perform the abortions.

For those whom believe abortion is a financial/economic issue I guess all poor parents along with their children should be put to death. Since the wealthy are the only ones who can love their children properly.

It is never easy being a parent and everyone knows the greatest rewards come from enduring the most difficult trials. With support and encouragement it will be successfully accomplished.

Believe it our not we were all once a zygote, embryo, fetus, an unborn child, or whatever you want to call ourselves at one time in our lives.

A women/mother has a CHOICE: To love her child or to abort it, you cannot give love to a child that no longer exists. Planned Parenthood would tell her without hesitation to CHOOSE to kill the child and the shovel they will hand you will be to bury it.

Posted by: dc at November 20, 2003 07:00 AM

"Zygotes are not babies. Fetuses are not babies."

Technically, by the definition, you are still partially incorrect. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition states definition 1b. for baby as:

"An unborn child; a fetus."

Nevermind that.... the point you were trying to make was clear. If we can define a human life as zygote we can justify snubbing out that life. If we can define a human life as only an embryo, we can justify terminating it. If we can define a human life as just a fetus (not a human baby), we can take away its life.

Bottom line: These are not "persons" as defined in the US Constitution, therefore they have no rights.

Sounds quite familiar. The great country of America did the same thing to Blacks during slavery. They were not "persons" and America did to America's body (propery) as America so chose. We also did an injustice to the American Indians. They were not "persons" like you and I are, they were savage beasts, and were treated accordingly; with no Constitutional rights as a "person".

History repeats my fellow humans; history sadly repeats.......

Posted by: Luke at November 20, 2003 09:52 AM

you are very correct luke.

and if history does indeed repeat itself. no one will get on here and try to respond to our points. the best we can hope for is some sad flames, maybe a few swear words, or, more likely, silence.......but i will hope for something better......let's see if someone decides to try to engage some intelligent pro-life arguments....


Posted by: mark at November 20, 2003 12:03 PM

so far, i would say my prediction is coming true.....

we are waiting........

and waiting......


Posted by: mark at November 21, 2003 11:24 AM

Hey guys (mark, luke, dc, etc.),

I'm sure that one of yall found this and emailed it to the others, so this post has bounced around a little bit. The reason that no one is responding to your posts is because the post is dated and no longer shows up on the main webpage (only in the archives), thus none of my readers are viewing your comments (I'm only aware of them because I'm the owner of the blog and I have my setting so that I'm emailed every comment to the blog). I appreciate your comments and I'd respond to them, but I feel that my comments relating to abortion on this and other threads speak for themselves for now. I would advise you all, if you wish to engage other readers in debate to follow the main page of my site, BurntOrangeReport.com. It's not that no one is willing to engage you in debate, rather, it's that no one is aware of your posts on this thread because it's only accessable through the archives links (all my posts stay on the main page for 5 days, then go to the archives page).

Byron LaMasters

Posted by: ByronUT at November 21, 2003 01:31 PM

thanks byron,
that helps me understand. although, it wouldn't be the first time that people just stopped discussing abortion when they ran out of reasonable responses. i can't tell you how many times i have found myself in that place.

heck, i know adamant pro-choicers who won't even engage me because they can't even defend the basics of their position. i understand, and even have compassion on them. it is very awkward to try to defend an indefensible position......


Posted by: mark at November 22, 2003 05:18 PM

Some stats for y'all

less than 1% of abortions are due to rape or incest (this is off the PP website)
over 90% of women who have abortions regret it later

pro-choice does not equal pro-women


Posted by: Connie at October 11, 2004 10:11 PM
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