During a press conference Thursday, a coalition of activists with the San Antonio Family Association gathered on Babcock road in opposition to a Planned Parenthood facility that is set to go into operation March 1st. The 22,000 sq. foot abortion ‘mega-center’ would be the largest facility in the region, and has been a source of contention for residents of the area, most notably, for being improperly zoned. However, it seems as though Planned Parenthood and its supporters have been buying their way around the regulations.
Thelma Franco, a Dreamhill Estates resident, initiated a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood, and has been supported by a coalition of groups including the San Antonio Family Association. The lawsuit hinges on the center being improperly zoned, which the City of San Antonio has admitted directly in a letter to Franco’s attorneys. Also of note is that the judge reportedly told Franco during testimony that he would not want a Planned Parenthood in his neighborhood, either.
However, on Thursday, January 29th, district judge Sol Casseb III denied the temporary injunction that would have blocked the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the abortion center. As of now, the city is challenging Mrs. Franco’s right to participate in the lawsuit because she lives more than 200 feet away from the building, which essentially means she isn’t living in the facility’s parking lot. City officials are reaching, to be sure, but one can’t help but wonder their motivation.
According to the American Life League, a cursory analysis of campaign contributions to the mayor and city council members revealed some rather telling information. “Among the top 50 donors to the campaigns, almost $100,000 came over a two-year period from Planned Parenthood donors and, most glaringly, board members of Planned Parenthood.” Among the top contributors include Planned Parenthood CEO Jeffrey Hons, its chairman Alan Kramer, and other board members and family members of Planned Parenthood South Texas officials.
In addition to being illegally zoned, the proposed facility will put an immense strain on the locale’s current infrastructure. The facility will serve as a regional service center for south and west Texas, drawing an additional 28,000 vehicles to the area’s already congested roadways. The required traffic study has not been performed by the City of San Antonio. Considering their tendency to favor outcomes that benefit themselves in lieu of their citizens’ mobility concerns, an objective, unbiased study can hardly be expected.
Considering the flow of money and city council’s lack of concern for mobility and the rule of law, citizens are facing an uphill battle. As Patrick Von Dohlen points out, “How in the world can citizens obtain justice when government officials’ palms are seemingly greased with campaign contributions?” By remembering come election day who supports their constituents, not their campaign accounts.