Pregnancy center blames broken lease on Planned Parenthood pressure

Abortion
by Courtney Crandell
Posted 12/11/14, 10:14 am

A California pregnancy center filed suit last week in a California court claiming pressure from Planned Parenthood pushed a landlord to break his lease agreement with the pro-life tenant. 

Alpha Pregnancy Clinics signed a lease agreement for an office space in Vacaville, Calif., and submitted the first rental check before the landlord decided to back out. He claimed Alpha was not a good fit for his property. The office building also houses a Planned Parenthood facility—the only tenant with a financial interest in blocking Alpha’s lease, according to Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI). 

Though PJI has yet to determine the exact role Planned Parenthood played in the landlord’s decision, evidence points to its involvement, Dacus said. 

“It is far too coincidental to see the landlord change 180 degrees to allow [Alpha] into the facility then declare they’re not a good fit,” Dacus said. “We’re very confident that the reason Alpha Clinic had their lease agreement breached by the landlord is because they are pro-life and Planned Parenthood is pro-death.”

Planned Parenthood did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

The abortion provider has employed similar tactics in the past to prevent pro-life pregnancy centers from locating near its abortion facilities, Dacus told me. “Planned Parenthood has been long opposed to women knowing all the options,” he said.

The lawsuit, filed by PJI attorneys in Solano County Superior Court, claims the landlord violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits religious discrimination by public and private businesses. The suit seeks a court order for the landlord to honor the contract as well as payment for damages. 

Alpha planned to move into the facility Nov. 15, but the landlord’s decision left the center in limbo. It currently operates in three locations and has a Mobile Medical Unit to offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. Executive Director Diedre Eckle told ABC News 10 the center needs more space and wants to locate in a medical complex: “We’re bursting at the seams.”

Dacus drew parallels between Alpha’s situation and Joseph and Mary finding no place to go on the night Jesus was born.

“This time, though it isn’t because there is no room at the inn—it is because of opposition to the pregnancy clinic’s pro-life beliefs,” he said. “This is not just ironic—it is illegal under California law.”

Courtney Crandell

Courtney is a Virginia journalist. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyLeeC.

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