Last week I wrote about a contractors' boycott of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, Texas. Apparently Planned Parenthood is fighting back:
Planned Parenthood will take over as general contractor in the construction of its South Austin clinic, which will offer a range of health services, including abortions, the organization's board chairwoman announced Monday.
The construction, which began in August, halted last week when San Antonio-based Browning Construction withdrew. Browning said it could not proceed after it was unable to hire subcontractors and others walked away.
Anti-abortion activists had distributed the names of those participating in the construction, and several were persuaded to drop their tools and turn down the business.
Planned Parenthood officials said that since the announcement last week, they have been contacted by several construction-related companies willing to help build the $4.2 million clinic, which will provide services primarily for poor or uninsured women. Some will serve as anonymous consultants for Planned Parenthood, they said....
A number of elected officials, including three mayors of Austin (two current, one former), came to a recent Planned Parenthood fundraiser, which raised nearly $200,000. Sidney Blumenthal was a keynote speaker.
A boycott leader made clear what really rankles him about abortion rights:
Chris Danze, president of Austin-based Maldonado and Danze Inc., a concrete supplier who organized the boycott of the project, said Monday in a statement: "This is good news for men who use women as sex objects. Bad news for women and children. The boycott continues."
Yup -- apparently the lead boycott organizer believes that all unwanted pregnancies result from sex acts in which women are "sex objects," and no unwanted pregnancy has ever resulted from an act of consensual sex.
Well, I hope the Planned Parenthood plan works. In the meantime, Gunther at The Gunther Concept is fed up -- he's found a lot of articles and Web sites that mention participants in this boycott (see his blog posts here, here, and here) -- and, kicking it up a notch, he's providing the boycotters' names, addresses, and e-mail addresses.
Yeah, that might seem harsh to you. It does to me, too. Of course, they are contractors -- they're in the phone book. Certainly, if they're in your area, you should never, ever hire these people. Gunther says,
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.
In other words, no harassment.
Of course, I don't know at what point you'd actually be guilty of harassment if you contacted these people -- this article from the July Texas Monthly, about an embattled Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, suggests that it's rather hard to cross the line into illegality in the state:
DYANN SANTOS FIRST SAW THE "Wanted" posters as she drove to work one morning in the summer of 1999. They were hard to miss. Every time she stopped at a red light or took a right turn on her route from College Station to Bryan, a poster bearing a photo of the clinic's doctor fluttered at eye level from a street sign or a telephone pole. "Someone knew my way to work," she said. "Someone had planned this out for me to see."
Soon her neighbors began receiving postcards. "Under current Texas law, abortion providers, like convicted sex offenders, are required by state law to register with the State," they read, listing her home address. Farther down, the tone became more informal: "Please feel free to call Dyann at [her home number] or possibly catch her in the Wal-Mart parking lot. She drives a small 1999 silver Honda with Texas Tag [her license plate number]." Dozens more postcards arrived without return addresses. One listed the "body count" Santos was responsible for and the warning "God has his own way of keeping score!" And so she took precautions. She transferred her teenage son to a private school. She took different routes home. She changed her phone number, twice. She stopped taking walks at night....
Debbie McCall, the clinic's community service director, ... commutes from the town of Crockett, 72 miles away, along a two-lane road that threads through farmland. "I felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck," she recalled. Still, she had little recourse. As with the anonymous mail and the "Wanted" posters, no one had broken the law. No threats of "imminent bodily injury," as the law requires, had been made. "They go right up to the edge of the law," observed Melissa Reyna, a nurse who worked at the clinic for three years. "They keep pushing that line a little further. The concern when I worked there was that someday, someone—that one loose cannon out there—would step over the line."
Yes, folks -- apparently, in the Great State of Texas, nothing described in the paragraphs above is "over the line."
The good news is that the Bryan clinic survived contractor skittishness and anti-abortion pressure:
"Local businesses were pressured not to work with us," Santos said. "Electricians turned us down. The security company backed out. The plumber would not park his company van outside. The gates, the fences, the roof—everything came from out of town. The contractor drove in from Houston. Even people who had done business with us for twenty years were afraid."
Let's hope the Austin boycott fails as well. Meanwhile, as this Focus on the Family Web page cited by Gunther makes clear, the boycotters think they're going to win, and win big:
Danze, meanwhile, isn't stopping with one abortion clinic. He has plans to round up like-minded suppliers to deny pest control and even bottled water to the entire abortion industry in Austin.
So this is war.