An anti-abortion group’s appeal of an earlier South San Francisco Planned Parenthood approval will be heard at the City Council meeting tomorrow night.
The South San Francisco Planning Commission approved Planned Parenthood’s application in May to open at 435 Grand Ave. downtown, but a group named Respect Life South San Francisco filed an appeal against the approval. The council will vote on whether to move forward with the application and use permit for the Planned Parenthood. There will first be a public hearing regarding the appeal.
“Whether you personally support or oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission is irrelevant to your consideration,” wrote Planned Parenthood’s attorney W. Russell Davis in a recent letter to the council regarding the appeal. “You must view us as you would any medical clinic. Just as with any use approval that runs with its land, your decision is based on the ‘use,’ not the user. The appeal is largely based on the appellants’ disapproval of Planned Parenthood’s mission. That political or philosophical disagreement should not enter into the discussion.”
The appeal, made on May 17 by Gregory Weiler, the attorney representing Rosa Gomez, Rolando Delgadillo, Vera Priego, Teresita Valido and Respect Life South San Francisco, states that adding Planned Parenthood violates the California Environmental Quality Act, would cause parking problems, violates zoning and would cause constant pro-life protests on location. All together there were 14 concerns.
The Planning Commission had determined the project was categorically exempt under CEQA.
“Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortion business in America,” Valido wrote in a May 11 letter to the John Penna, former mayor and the owner of the space in which Planned Parenthood would be housed. “They have repeatedly been caught covering up child abuse and statutory rape, and aiding in sex slave trafficking. They mislead teenagers into pornography, kill babies, damage women and divide families. They deceitfully present themselves as a much-needed health clinic. Yet the downtown Grand Avenue area already has nine actual health clinics.”
The new three-story 7,846-square-foot clinic will not provide surgical abortion but will issue emergency contraceptives, contraceptives and provide sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte spokeswoman Lupe Rodriguez said previously. Planned Parenthood does not plan to offer chemical abortion, or RU-486, but it could be added without returning to the city for zoning approval, Rodriguez said previously.
Notably, back in June, Penna power washed a retired priest and another prominent abortion foe in downtown South San Francisco in front of his building where the Planned Parenthood was approved by the Planning Commission. Penna said at the time that he turned the pressure washer on the retired Catholic priest because the father came at him with a cane in a threatening manner. It is disputed whether it was an act of self-defense or an attempt to quash the pro-life group’s First Amendment rights.
The council will meet 7 p.m. Wednesday at Council Chambers, located at 33 Arroyo Drive in South San Francisco.
NOTE TO READERS: This article has been changed. The meeting is actually at 7 p.m. tomorrow night, not 6 p.m. as reported earlier. The City Council will meet for closed session at 6 p.m.
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