A pro-life victory ending Planned Parenthood’s attempt to build a high-volume abortion facility in upstate New York received little media attention. Even so, this lifesaving turn of events may provide a blueprint for taking down the abortion industry giant in other locations.
This success resulted from the strategic and tenacious efforts of a savvy group of grassroots leaders. It was an innovative approach to clipping the wings of America’s largest chain of abortion facilities.
During 2020, Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York (PPCWNY) negotiated with the owner of Westfall Medical Center to lease unit 2233, contingent on the landlord building a new 6,500 square foot abortion facility. The project required that the current space be demolished with the new abortion center built on the same foundation.
On July 19, 2021, PPCWNY opened a temporary facility in unit 2225. The Town of Brighton approved the reconstruction of the 6,500 square foot site on July 21, 2021.
The fortunes of PPCWNY turned with the creation of Brighton Residents Against Violence to Everyone (BRAVE). The acronym describes its approach to the problem. They were assisted by Reprotection, an organization founded to expose and close down America’s abortion centers, and attorneys from the Thomas More Society.
Together with the considerable efforts of grassroots volunteers, these passionate pro-lifers are credited with shutting down PPCWNY’s construction project and likely saving the lives of thousands of preborn children.
Their novel approach made this effort stand out. BRAVE focused on the negative impacts the project would inflict upon the community. These concerns were shared with the town’s planning board, physicians in the Westfall Medical Center, and area residents.
Not uncommon to similar situations, the Brighton Planning Board unanimously approved the PPCWNY project without giving consideration to pro-lifers’ concerns.
BRAVE then filed suit in late August 2021 against the Planning Board and PPCWNY challenging the approval. The lawsuit focused on the approval process of the site plan that included the following areas of concern:
- The lack of a meaningful review.
- Whether or not a surgical facility is permitted within that particular zoning district.
- The issue of waste removal, i.e., disposal of the babies’ bodies.
- Its harmful impact on the surrounding community.
- The abortion facility’s compliance with wastewater regulations and lack of consideration for the effect on the town’s water supply, a concern recently highlighted by a newly adopted state constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to clean water for every citizen.
- Compliance with EPA regulations as it applies to PPCWNY’s increased reliance on chemical abortion procedures which culminate in the at-home expulsion of unborn babies into the city’s sewer system.
BRAVE’s “holistic” approach to the litigation included a grassroots campaign of:
- Consistent appearances (127) by pro-life individuals raising these concerns before the Brighton Planning Board and at other town meetings.
- Letters sent to 80 physicians within the Westfall Park Medical Center drawing attention to the ways in which the project would impact their medical practices.
- A consecutive six-weekend door-to-door educational campaign.
On January 21, 2022 BRAVE received notice from Westfall Medical Realty that the construction project had been abandoned.
Reprotection announced they would be taking the lawsuit to other locales throughout the nation and build on this precedent-setting victory.
President, Life Issues Institute
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