Texas Abortion Clinic Opens Despite Boycott

Construction of a Planned Parenthood (search) clinic is on schedule and nearly complete despite a two-month work stoppage last year organized by an abortion opponent.

The clinic, a 10,000-square-foot limestone building with a red tile roof, will open in November as planned, said Danielle Tierney, a spokeswoman for the reproductive services provider.

Planned Parenthood got workers back on the job after deciding to operate as its own general contractor. Spearheaded by Chris Danze, who also is a contractor, the construction boycott was a new tactic in the long-running debate over abortion.

"It felt like the whole nation was looking to Austin," Tierney said Thursday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. "We were determined not to let the boycott succeed."

The boycott targeted suppliers of materials and workers — including plumbers and air conditioning and dry wall installers — and ground the project to a halt within six weeks.

Danze was among a handful of protestors at the ceremony, held in the building's parking lot.

"This will be the most evil place in Austin if it is completed," he said.

Danze said he has been contacted by anti-abortion groups across the country seeking advice on how to conduct similar boycotts. He said one is being waged against a Planned Parenthood clinic project in Houston.

One of the 200 Planned Parenthood supporters at the ribbon-cutting was Sarah Weddington (search), who argued Roe v. Wade (search) before the Supreme Court. The landmark case legalized abortion (search).

"This building is a national symbol," Weddington said. "Women ought to have a choice."

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