Redwood City, Calif.: After months of conflict over its proposal to open an abortion clinic in Redwood City, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte has withdrawn its application for a use permit, stating that the approval process at the site was taking too long. Redwood City’s initial approval of a zoning variance for the abortion clinic caused an uproar from community members, more than 40 of whom filed an appeal of the City’s decision.
Greg Weiler of Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron, LLP, filed the appeal on behalf of the concerned citizens with the help of Life Legal Defense Foundation volunteer attorney Cyrus Johnson of San Mateo, Calif. and Legal Director Katie Short. The appeal challenged the City’s preferential treatment of Planned Parenthood without regard for the adverse impact on adjacent property owners who had concerns about traffic increases, incessant protests, and the devaluation and stigmatization of their property that would arise from having Planned Parenthood as a neighbor. They further argued that Planned Parenthood was improperly granted a waiver of the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.
Besides the legal arguments raised in the appeal, concerted community activism was instrumental in generating opposition to Planned Parenthood. One local business, Enterprise Car Rental, was prepared to make the clinic opening possible by allowing Planned Parenthood to use parking spaces in its lot, since the abortion provider’s proposed site did not contain sufficient parking. After local activists made Enterprise aware of the consequences of partnering with Planned Parenthood, the national car rental chain backed off of the proposed deal. Longtime pro-life activist Ross Foti led the effort, informing Enterprise that pro-lifers would picket the company if it provided spaces to Planned Parenthood. Other pro-life activists led protests and spoke against the project. The local 40 Days for Life campaign held its vigils at the proposed site. This dedicated protest demonstrated in a highly visible way the impact Planned Parenthood would have on the community.
“Communities are better off when everyone is protected, including women and their unborn children. Removing the threat posed by Planned Parenthood is a major victory for innocent human life in Redwood City,” commented Katie Short, Life Legal Defense Foundation’s Legal Director. Life Legal Defense Foundation congratulates all those involved in preventing the opening of this abortion clinic in Redwood City, and looks forward to continuing to provide support for concerned citizens fighting the expansion of abortion within their communities.