Catholics unite to oppose Planned Parenthood on Grand Avenue

Pastor, principal testify against Planned Parenthood clinic

May 8th, 2013 Catholic San Francisco By Valerie Schmalz

All Souls pastor Fr. Agnel De Heredia, right, and parish school principal Vincent Riener, left, attended a planning commission meeting May 2 to speak against a proposal by Planned Parenthood to open a clinic on the city’s main commercial stree

All Souls pastor Fr. Agnel De Heredia, right, and parish school principal Vincent Riener, left, attended a planning commission meeting May 2 to speak against a proposal by Planned Parenthood to open a clinic on the city’s main commercial stree

A showdown over whether to allow a Planned Parenthood clinic to open on South San Francisco’s Grand Avenue moves to the City Council after the Planning Commission voted 6-1 in favor of the clinic.

The pastor of All Souls Parish and the parish school’s principal were among the dozens of South San Francisco and San Mateo residents who spoke against the clinic at the May 2 hearing. Pro-life advocates said they would appeal the permit approval to the city council. More than 1,100 signatures and letters opposing the clinic were submitted to the commission. Close to 200 petition signatures and letters were submitted to the city in favor of the clinic.

“On paper everything looks perfect,” said South San Francisco resident Nora Priego. “But as you can see this room is full of people who are against the opening of the clinic. Therefore, it is not perfect.

“If you open the Planned Parenthood clinic there will be more empty commercial spaces because people are going to take their business elsewhere. This clinic does not belong on Grand Avenue,” Priego said.

Despite original statements saying the clinic would not offer abortion at all, one Planned Parenthood official at the hearing said medication abortion would be among services. Queried about the statement, Planned Parenthood vice president for public affairs Liz Figueroa said the organization is seriously considering adding medication abortion, also known as RU-486. To offer surgical abortion, the clinic would need to remodel again, which would require planning approval but medication abortion would fall within the requested conditional use permit.

Planned Parenthood officials said the clinic will meet the needs of low-income people who need medical care and will do outreach to local schools. “It’s the services that the San Mateo health department has requested,” Figueroa said, telling the commissioners that Planned Parenthood’s name is attractive for those seeking reproductive health care. “Young women of a certain age, that’s where they go,” she said.

Planned Parenthood educators will speak at local schools, Figueroa said. “Most of the time, the schools invite us … to speak about various issues. Yes, they will know we are here.”

Opponents cited ethical opposition to Planned Parenthood’s goals, reminded the commissioners of Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger’s eugenics philosophy and said that they opposed bringing an organization to the downtown area that promotes abortion and believes in providing contraception and abortion to youth.

“We oppose this establishment of this medical clinic on ethical grounds,” said All Souls School principal Vincent Riener.

“Life is sacred. We do not like war because war hurts, maims, kills and destroys life. Abortion is war. It kills babies,” said All Souls pastor Father Agnel De Heredia.

Pro-life San Mateo representative Jessica Munn said the commission’s decision will be appealed to the South San Francisco City Council.

Planning Commissioner Carlos Martin was the lone vote against the Planned Parenthood clinic.

Nationally, Planned Parenthood received $542 million in taxpayer funding in the 2011-12 fiscal year and received $150 million in revenue from the abortions the organization performed, said Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America in a statement recently. Hawkins said 44 percent of abortions are performed on women 18-24 years old.

 From May 10, 2013 issue of Catholic San Francisco.

UPDATE:

The ‘South City Pro Life group’ is meeting tonight at All Souls to discuss how to move forward with the appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval allowing Planned Parenthood to open their clinic on Grand Avenue. A second meeting will be held tomorrow night at St. Gregory’s in San Mateo to discuss this further.  That meeting will be conducted by the San Mateo Pro Life group.

The next Pro Life demonstration is set for  Saturday, May 11, from 9am to 12 noon.  This demonstration will once again include Ross Foti along with his  parked truck ‘with the huge horrific pictures of aborted babies’.

2 comments for “Catholics unite to oppose Planned Parenthood on Grand Avenue

  1. Oliver
    May 9, 2013 at 5:33 am

    In my own little but meaningful way, I pray and join the Church in preserving the sanctity of life!
    I stand for what is right, true, and SACRED!
    This Planned Parenthood clinic hides the truth in form of parenthood programs, use of contraceptions which will eventually lead to abortion, and other ways to prevent living good moral life. This clinic will surely destroy the basic unit of our society – the family!

    There is a need to strengthen the Religious Education provided in our Catholic schools and not just teach it just like the way other academic subjects are taught. Religious studies is all about Christian Being and Becoming. Educators must be able to integrate character formation and VALUES education among our students across all the subjects. Therefore, let us educate our young learners and everyone to see the danger that lies behind this Planned Parenthood Clinic and its program. Failure to do this and be ignorant of it will surely lead us to error and sin.

    Life preservation is a value itself and starts from conception! He/She who destroys it, destroys the family itself! Worst, go against the author of life – God!

  2. Judy Larosa
    May 11, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Oliver, Planned Parenthood provides contraception to women who do not want to get pregnant. This prevents abortions. Whether you choose to believe our children are sexually active or not, some are and they need to have birth control available to them. Also, there are married women who cannot afford more children, or have medical issues that would be harmful for them to conceive and they also need access to birth control. I am pro-choice, which doesn’t mean I am anti-life. Planned Parenthood would be a place that a women who may not have access to medical care could go to prevent a pregnancy.

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