Boycott Watch
January 26, 2004
Abortion Clinic Construction Boycott Results In Contractor Changes Mid-Project
   Summary: A boycott of construction companies building an abortion clinic resulted in the contractors quitting the project
   Abortion is a hot-button issue, and it is expected to remain a major political issue for years to come. What was not expected, however, was a boycott against the companies working on the construction of a Planned Parenthood clinic that began during construction. Yet that is exactly what happened in Austin, Texas when a flyer was passed around calling for a boycott of the contactors working on the project.

   On September 23, 2003, Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region broke ground on a $6.2M facility, but a boycott shut down the construction three months later when Chris Danze, President of Texas Contractors and Suppliers for Life Association and the owner of a construction company, sent hundreds of letters to suppliers and other companies convincing them not to do business with any company working on the project. The pressure worked, and construction stopped after the prime contactor quit the project.

   Glenda Parks, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region said: "It's not really a boycott. This all started in two parts. First, an individual in the construction industry called for a boycott of concrete suppliers asking them to not carry concrete supplies for the project. Part two was a campaign of harassing phone calls to sub contactors to have them pull out of the job. I would not call this a boycott - it was a campaign of harassing phone calls."

   Perhaps, but the campaign resulted in a boycott when the general contactor pulled out of the project after some of the sub contractors quit. One web site about this boycott claimed that all the contractors joined the boycott and pulled out of the project, including the port-o-potty and project trailer company. However, the office and bathrooms are rented resources by the prime contactor, and would naturally be removed when the prime contractor left the project since that is who was paying or those resources.

   Parks told Boycott Watch that the construction will resume and "the schedule is being withheld because of the threatening and harassing phone calls." Parks did not want to reveal the name of the new general contractor out of fear that the new company would face retribution. "The list of companies involved is a tightly held secret."

   The original general contractor was Browning Construction in Austin, Texas, said "We are no longer involved with the project" and refused further comment.

   Joe Miller, the owner of J.M. Utilities in Cedar Park, Texas was one of the subcontractors on the project, and stated that he received about fifty phone calls, mostly all being pleasant, requesting him to boycott the project. "They were holding our feet to fire and boycotting us" Said Miller. "We were happy they (Browning) got out of the contract (because) it took us out of it (the controversy)."

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