Redwood City, California: Similar to many other abortion clinics throughout the country, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM) has a troubling history when it comes to health and safety. This history includes the failure to report the rape of a 13-year-old girl by her stepfather. The pregnant minor, known as “K.” in court documents, was brought to PPMM twice by her stepfather seeking an abortion for her. PPMM remained silent, allowing the sexual abuse to continue for months even after the girl had an abortion. The child molester is now behind bars, but not because of any help from PPMM. There is also a history of lawsuits against this particular Planned Parenthood facility on issues including medical malpractice and wrongful death. One long-time abortion practitioner at PPMM was disciplined by the California Medical Board before finally having his license revoked.
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM) is in the process of opening a new facility in San Mateo County and announced plans to open December 3rd despite an apparently unfinished renovation and a not-yet-approved clinic license application. According to PPMM’s statements, it will not provide abortions at this time but will do so in a few months when the facility is fully licensed.
At its peak in the late ‘90’s, Planned Parenthood operated four abortion clinics in San Mateo County. In 2010, the last of these closed down. Local pro-life advocates have been working hard since then to stop or slow Planned Parenthood’s re-expansion into the area. At the north end of the county, pro-life residents—represented by LLDF affiliate attorneys Gregory Weiler and David Werner—are appealing the decision of the South San Francisco city council to allow the opening of a Planned Parenthood clinic in a downtown shopping district in that city. Mid-county, pro-lifers picket several times a week at a clinic that opened two years ago in the city of San Mateo. In the fall of 2011, pro-life advocates defeated PPMM’s effort to locate an abortion clinic at the southern end of the county, in Redwood City. Due to the concerted efforts of pro-life advocates, PPMM abandoned those plans, and instead quietly worked to open a facility in unincorporated San Mateo County, adjacent to Redwood City.
Learning of the new plan after seeing the renovations underway, local pro-lifers swung into action. In just eleven days, they compiled more than 1600 signatures on a letter of protest to the property owners and manager. Their hope is that the owners, Brad Ehikian (Premier Property Management) and his parents, may be receptive to outreach on this topic since the family is Catholic and their desire was presumably to bring needed health services to the community.
Organizers also have asked pro-lifers to give witness to their opposition by standing on the public sidewalk in front of the clinic with signs warning residents about their new neighbor. The outreach’s theme focuses on the troubling health and safety record of PPMM, the danger of abortion, particularly for minors without parental knowledge, and the damage this type of industry inflicts on the community. They plan to have a constant presence at the clinic for the next two weeks at least.
“LLDF congratulates San Mateo County Pro-Life’s members and leaders, including Jessica Munn who has coordinated this effort and all the pro-life advocates who have turned out to fight this pernicious business,” comments Dana Cody, Life Legal Defense Foundation’s President and Executive Director. “Your courageous stand has proved successful in the past and we join you in praying for the defeat of this threat to your community.”