Austin Planned Parenthood Renews Construction on Abortion Business
by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
January 21, 2004
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — Construction has started up again at an abortion center site in Austin, Texas, despite a massive boycott campaign launched by building contractors.
The campaign successfully halted construction for two months, though boycott organizer Chris Danze told the Houston Chronicle newspaper that the effort had been a "limited success" so far.
"We take it one day at a time," Danze told the Chronicle. "We make no predictions about the future, just hard work and prayer."
The $6.2 million dollar Planned Parenthood center was originally scheduled to open in fall, 2004. But, once the general contractor, Browning Construction of San Antonio, pulled out of the project, construction ground to a halt.
Still, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Danielle Tierney says the project is now progressing.
"We’re more committed than ever," Tierney told the Chronicle. "We’ve been encouraged and inspired by support, not only in this community, but from pro-choice supporters everywhere."
Tierney told the Chronicle that the work stoppage had been "emotionally devastating."
Planned Parenthood decided to act as its own general contractor after Browning quit. Browning officials had said they were unable to secure subcontractors because of the boycott.
Pro-life leaders around the nation have praised the boycott as an innovative way to stop abortions. Without the cooperation of construction workers, plumbers, air conditioning and dry wall installers, it can be virtually impossible for an abortion center to set up operation.
Planned Parenthood has refused to reveal the names of companies that are currently working on the construction project.
But Danze’s group, which is known as Texas Contractors and Suppliers for Life, hope to find out which companies are involved and lobby them to withdraw.
Danze told the Chronicle that the plumber and electrician for the project will have to take out city permits. "We’ll know who they are," he said.
Planned Parenthood claims the "Choice Project" exceeded its fundraising goal of $720,000, a fact Tierney attributes to a backlash to the boycott.
But boycott leaders remain undeterred. A prayer vigil is planned at the construction site from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, January 26.
As for Planned Parenthood’s claims that the project will be completed on time, Danze said, "…What they say and what the truth is are usually very far apart."
Meanwhile, Danze is urging pro-life advocates to contact North Star Fire Protection of Texas, which is providing fire protection components for the building, and urge the manager to withdraw from participation in the Choice Project. The number to call is 512-833-0800.