A grassroots campaign in upstate New York has shut down construction of a Planned Parenthood facility. The activist group Brighton Residents Against Violence to Everyone, known by the acronym BRAVE, has stopped construction of the planned 6500 square foot abortion center in Brighton, a suburb of Rochester, New York. With the support of Reprotection, a women’s advocacy organization served by the Thomas More Society, BRAVE prevailed in its efforts to prevent the construction of the facility.
A January 10, 2022, email from the Town of Brighton informed BRAVE that the Town’s attorneys had “received confirmation that Planned Parenthood terminated its lease with Westfall Medical Realty and will not occupy the South Clinton Avenue, Brighton, premises.”
Missy Martinez-Stone, CEO of Reprotection, said, “The Reprotection team congratulates the activists in Brighton on their victory and we look forward to taking this precedent-setting lawsuit to other cities and towns across the country.”
Tom Olp, Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel, noted that BRAVE focused on the negative impacts that a Planned Parenthood abortion facility would deliver to a community, and took those concerns to the town’s planning board, the existing medical facilities in Westfall Medical Park, and area residents. When site plan approval was granted without any consideration of those concerns, BRAVE filed suit.
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“By tying these concerns together,” explained Olp, “the group’s attorney filed a proceeding in late August 2021 against the Brighton Planning Board and the applicant, challenging the approval of the project. The lawsuit focused on the site plan approval process itself, including the lack of a meaningful review by the Planning Board of the many issues that an abortion clinic can bring to a neighborhood community. The lawsuit questioned whether surgical facilities are a permitted use within the zoning district. It also raised the question of waste disposal, as well as deleterious secondary impacts to the community character. Under the advice and assistance of Reprotection, the lawsuit also challenged the proposed facility’s compliance with wastewater regulations and the lack of consideration of impacts to the town’s water supply. Reprotection provided information about Environmental Protection Agency regulations, as it related to Planned Parenthood’s increasing promotion of the ‘at home’ abortion pill. BRAVE included that information in a challenge under the newly adopted New York constitutional amendment guaranteeing every citizen the right to clean water.”
Olp complimented BRAVE’s holistic approach to the litigation, as well as the campaign that included 127 appearances by 62 different individuals before the Brighton Planning Board and other town meetings, letters to 80 doctors with offices in the medical park, studies on implications for the areas law enforcement operations and traffic, and six weekends of neighborhood door-knocking campaigns.
Since June of 2021, Brighton Residents Against Violence to Everyone (BRAVE), has actively been fighting the construction of the new Planned Parenthood at Westfall Medical Park in Brighton, New York. For more Information, visit www.braveny.org.