| 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
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)."