As the Oregonian reported last week, Walsh Construction, the firm hired to build the Planned Parenthood building at Beech and MLK, has pulled out because of pressure from anti-abortion activists.
From the article:
The land sale is set to close Aug. 13. Construction is scheduled for October, with the building completion set for July 2009.
Planned Parenthood will use the space for both medical clinics and its regional headquarters and will bring an estimated 140 jobs to the neighborhood.
The nonprofit provides sexual and reproductive health care to women, men and teens. According to its annual report, 38 percent of patients seek contraception, 29 percent need treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and 3 percent seek abortions.
Bill Diss, one of the organizers of the local protest, said the effort is designed to remind the businesses involved in the project whom they’re working for. He called Planned Parenthood a “killing center” that targets young girls, teaching them about sex and masturbation, which he called “the gateway drug to lust.”
“They’re up in North Portland targeting young black girls to get them into a life of sex,” said Diss, a science teacher at Portland’s Benson High.
Racial politics became an issue in the debate last year when the PDC was deciding whether to sell the land. Some community members said they were offended that the city would allow an abortion clinic on a street named after civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
OPB reports that the project is still slated to include first-floor commercial space, and that the developer will pursue new builders and go forward with the project.
The group that organizes protests against Planned Parenthood in Portland calls itself Precious Children of Portland; its website is here, and asks the question: “are there too many black children in Portland?” The site also claims that more black Americans “are killed from abortion than all other causes of death combined.”