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In Defense of Planned Parenthood

January 6, 2004

The Board of Directors of the Atheist Community of Austin voted on December 14th to oppose the efforts of groups that try to impose the restrictions of their religious beliefs on the health care of the general population of Austin. Specifically, the Board addressed boycott threats made by a religious coalition led by the Texas Contractors and Suppliers for Life against companies involved in the construction of a Planned Parenthood facility in Austin known as The Choice Project.

Board member Allan Campbell stated, "The proposed clinic would be a vital asset to our community by providing women's health exams, contraception and abortion services." These important services have already become less available to poor or uninsured women due to the influence of Catholic Church doctrine at Brackenridge, Austin's public hospital. Now, a minority of religious extremists are waging economic blackmail in an attempt to stop the construction of the Planned Parenthood clinic that would provide health care services that the majority of Austin residents consider valuable.

Religious doctrine must not be allowed to affect the kinds of medical services available to all Austin residents. The ACA Board joins hands with other activists and organizations that promote free choice in health care for all residents, not just those who can afford private doctors and hospitals.

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