This morning Amy linked today's Oregonian article (which is in the running for Best Unintentionally Hilarious Headline 2008 - check it out) detailing how the construction company hired to build the new NE offices of Planned Parenthood quit the project after protests from Catholics and others who use phrases like "abortion mill". What's missing from the article is this crucial fact: the construction company backed out more than a month ago.
In early May, the construction company's announcement thrilled pro-life websites. Since then, though, the Planned Parenthood has remained on construction schedule and is actually saving money by using its developer as a general contractor rather than hiring a new agency to replace the one that jumped ship. Liz Delapoer, marketing director for Planned Parenthood, was flummoxed as to why the Oregonian ran the story today with no time or date context about when the pull-out occurred. "I'm surprised to see people taking an interest," she said, "This happened back in early May."
Here's a sketch of the imagined building, which should be breaking ground this October at the corner of NE MLK and Beech and in full operation by early 2010:
Also bothersome on the reporting of this story: pro-life groups portrayed the pull-out as a victory, where their fetus-waving protests actually made a difference.
But according to the developer, Bob Walsh, he quit the project not due to morals but because he feared crazed and violent protesters. From the Oregonian:
When Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette signed on as the anchor tenant, Walsh said, he called builders in other cities who had dealt with aggressive anti-abortion activists. He was told that protesters had gone as far as staking out contractors' homes.
"It's disruptive and very threatening," he said. "I just didn't want to put my family through that."
That sounds more like "coercion through fear" than "grassroots victory".
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