Anti-abortion advocates have long used violence to intimidate abortion providers, but activists in California are now going a step further: they’re trying to prevent a Planned Parenthood from opening in Redwood City, California by threatening to picket Enterprise Rent-A-Car for agreeing to provide nine parking slots for the clinic and are pressuring the company to back out of its contract. As a result, the city’s planning department — which had required the center to come up with at least 27 parking spots for patients and staff — notified Planned Parenthood on Tuesday that a permit issued May 20 “has been amended“:
Michelle Tangunan, an associate planner for the city who oversees the clinic application, said that after the use permit was approved, Planned Parenthood informed the city Enterprise might try to pull out of the agreement. Lupe Rodriguez, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman, confirmed that the rental car chain had expressed “second thoughts” about making nine spaces available. Rodriguez said she doesn’t know why Enterprise might try to renege from its legally binding contract with Planned Parenthood. [...]
Belmont resident Ross Foti, known for protesting outside abortion clinics with graphic pictures of fetuses, offered an explanation. He said abortion foes have approached the company and threatened to picket its El Camino Real location if it delivers the parking, he said. “They (Enterprise) were the ones that made it possible for Planned Parenthood to open up,” Foti said.
The clinic will provide “preventative health care services, family planning, reproductive health, prenatal, and primary care services” and could dispense “chemical abortions” but “was not approved for surgical abortions.” Meanwhile, a corporate spokeswoman for Enterprise has said “the contract with Planned Parenthood requires two signatures and it only has one,” but said the lease would still require corporate approval. Enterprise is now claiming that the center revised the conditions of the contract, which Planned Parenthood is denying. A local report about the story:
The city has said it is “open to considering alternative off-site parking arrangements that Planned Parenthood might come up with if Enterprise pulls out.”