Texas City Attempts to Stop New Abortion Business

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 8, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Texas City Attempts to Stop New Abortion Business

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
June 8, 2004

Kileen, TX (LifeNews.com) — Citing overwhelming public outcry at the news of new abortion business being opened in their city, the Killeen City Council has drafted a resolution recognizing human life at the moment of conception, and beginning an inquiry into possible restrictions.

Killeen residents discovered that an abortion facility, the Killeen Women’s Health Center, was opening in their town when a half-page ad for the business appeared in the new phone books. The facility would be the first to offer abortions between Waco and Austin.

Last week, the town hall was packed with residents voicing opposition at a public hearing, in which 347 individuals spoke against the business opening, and only 3 spoke in favor.

City Attorney Kathy Davis explained at the meeting that while federal law makes abortion legal, states have control over regulations. It has not yet been determined what municipalities can impose other than zoning restrictions, Davis explained.

"The question at some point that the council may or may not be faced with is, ‘Do we want to be that test case,’" said Councilman Dick Young.

That question will certainly be brought up when the council considers a resolution Tuesday night that, in addition to recognizing conception as the beginning of life, that would instruct the city manager to look into possible restriction on abortion businesses, including the requirement of a special permit, liability insurance of $5 million, and that it be located in a stand-alone building.

"The city council is very pro-life," observed Brian Thom of Central Texans for Life. They are looking to the legal side, while our organization will be working on public awareness."

Thom told LifeNews.com that Central Texans for Life will be organizing prayer, publicity campaigns and some peaceful protests in their opposition to the abortion business.

Opposition to the abortion industry has become very vocal in Texas in recent months, including Pro-Life Waco’s boycott of Girl Scout cookies that received national attention.

Last month, Planned Parenthood of Cameron and Willacy Counties lost its financial support from the city of Harlingen — support that the abortion business says it needed for its teen conference.

"Public officials are finally recognizing that the abortion industry should not be subsidized with tax dollars, especially when other essential services that do not prey upon young girls are desperate for funding," Elizabeth Graham, executive director of Texas Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.

Supporters of Planned Parenthood of Houston and Central Texas were notified by the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life that their affiliation with Texas’ largest abortion provider would be publicized unless they cut off their funding. Eleven groups have done so, and the names and contact information for the other organizations, including J.P. Morgan, Pfizer, and the Houston Chronicle, have been published by the Coalition for Life.

Last year construction on a new Planned Parenthood facility in Austin ground to a halt when contractors called for a boycott. Planned Parenthood was forced to act as its own general contractor in order for work to progress.