Does a mega-abortion facility sound like a “mom and pop” business to you? That is the issue roiling the people of San Antonio where our nation’s largest abortion enterprise – the Planned Parenthood Federation of America – is attempting to open a new facility adjacent to a residential community more accustomed to cafes, hairdressers, and hardware stores. The story of this facility, which will reportedly have the capacity to perform 2,800 abortions per year, is the epitome of citizen action against an entrenched and powerful political foe.
Stung by the Texas legislature’s determination to improve health regulations and protect mothers and the unborn, Planned Parenthood is now digging in its heals to revive the abortion industry in Texas. Along with a handful of city council members, they’ve tried to skirt city zoning regulations and notification laws and deceive contractors into building one of the largest abortion centers in the country in the city’s Dreamhill Estates neighborhood.
Dreamhill Estates residents have thus far had little help from the local government trying to force them to accept a massive new abortion center. But pro-lifers, being who we are, are speaking up, and we are drawing new allies into the fight for life-affirming alternatives.
It all started when Planned Parenthood, whose U.S. affiliates ended the lives of more than 327,000 unborn Americans in 2013 alone, purchased property at 2140 Babcock Road in San Antonio. The purchase was made via Delantero Investors, a shell company which hid its intention to renovate the property and create the largest abortion facility in south Texas. Contractors and suppliers for the project were unaware of the building’s purpose. They were also unaware that the city council and then-Mayor Julian Castro, now HUD Secretary under President Obama, were ignoring the city’s zoning regulations by approving a robust surgical abortion facility in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
The project appears to be stalled. Eli Danze, who heads up Texas Contractors and Suppliers for Life (founded by his father 12 years ago), is a member of the STOPpp Coalition working with the San Antonio Family Association to educate contractors about the building’s purpose and encourage them to walk away. Their efforts have been successful. One supplier wrote: “We are a Christian family owned business, and do not wish to participate in the construction of this facility. We have notified our customer that we will not deliver material to this address. I made this decision solely based on my own beliefs. Thank you for conveying the purpose of this facility to me.”
As of right now, no one is forcing these suppliers and contractors to do this work against their will, but any dissident within the city’s planning office has been punished for objecting to the misapplication of the law in this instance. Danze and the coalition of concerned citizens point to former city Senior Planner Trenton Robertson. Robertson, aware of the city’s zoning laws, wrote a letter exposing the fact that the city was violating its own policies because the current zoning for the neighborhood was not correct for Planned Parenthood’s proposed use.
When City Manager Sheryl Sculley and Rod Sanchez, director of San Antonio’s Development Services Department, saw Robertson’s letter, he was promptly demoted and run out of the city. Such is the reward for pointing out that the city should follow its own development board policies. Especially when the exception is being made for the nation’s largest abortion chain. Although Planned Parenthood and its apologists claim the role of trusted health care provider for women and girls, their own annual report reveals an abortion-centered, profit-driven business. In 2013, their already limited cancer screenings, prenatal services, adoption referrals – and even contraception services – continued to drop while abortion rates remained steady, averaging almost 900 abortions a day.
During fiscal year 2013-2014, Planned Parenthood also received more than $528 million in taxpayer funding, or more than $1.4 million per day, in the form of government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements.
With $127 million in net revenue (a very profitable nonprofit indeed), and more than $1.4 billion in net assets, Planned Parenthood, unsurprisingly, makes generous campaign contributions to its political allies. City council members backing the Babcock Road project have become beneficiaries, accepting more than $100,000 in private campaign donations from Planned Parenthood prior to Election Day – which is just days away on May 9.
Since the City of San Antonio refuses to follow the rule of law, it will be up to the people to defeat this corruption at the ballot box. More than a thousand pro-life activists have been showing up at the mayor’s office on a weekly basis ahead of the city’s Election Day this Saturday.
Thousands of lives – potential victims of Planned Parenthood and its profiteering – are on the line this week in San Antonio. Americans everywhere should take note.