By Jim Sedlak
Since 2010, Planned Parenthood has leased clinic space from the Muskegon County (Michigan) Health Department. Planned Parenthood takes up at least a third of a county building, to the rear, complete with two exam rooms, a front desk area, a records room, and a lab space. The lab space and at least one of the rooms is shared between the county health department and Planned Parenthood.
The lease specifies that Planned Parenthood pays $125 a month ($1,500 a year) for the space. It also specifies that either party to the lease may cancel at any time with 60 days’ notice. The Muskegon County Health Department determined in the last year that its own need for space has increased and asked the county to cancel the lease with Planned Parenthood so the department could use the space.
According to published reports, in discussions before a final decision was to be made, the county indicated that it would cancel the lease, but would maintain a contract it has with Planned Parenthood to provide “clinical services like patient referrals and access to birth control.” The county anticipated that Planned Parenthood would rent other space in the city from which to conduct these services. In a preliminary vote, the county board’s human services committee on April 9 voted 7-2 in favor of terminating the contract.
In typical fashion, Planned Parenthood refused to accept the fact that the county needed its space and labeled the issue as a “political attack.” What should have been a normal business transaction with the county exercising its right to terminate the lease with Planned Parenthood being given 60 days to find a new space turned into a corporate bully trying to force its will on the community.
Planned Parenthood played its game of being a poor, misunderstood victim of an unjust attack. It rallied its supporters. This invigorated those in the community who are opposed to Planned Parenthood. Opponents of Planned Parenthood rallied in the town carrying “EVICT PLANNED PARENTHOOD” signs. All of this led to a Muskegon County Board of Commissioners meeting on April 16 with hundreds of attendees and over 150 speakers (speaking two minutes each).
The result—Planned Parenthood was evicted! The vote was 6-2. Praise God!
But, even in defeat, Planned Parenthood was able to show why it is known for bullying its opponents and third parties—like the Muskegon County Board. Planned Parenthood was given 90 days to leave instead of the 60 days specified in the lease. When Planned Parenthood threatened it would simply leave town, news reports stated: “Several commissioners and Muskegon County Administrator Mark Eisenbarth are in the process of helping Planned Parenthood identify private spaces throughout the county.”
Congratulations to all the concerned citizens of Muskegon for getting Planned Parenthood evicted from the county clinic space. You stood up to the bully and were victorious!
For more about the incessant bullying tactics of Planned Parenthood, we invite you to read “Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure” by Karen Handel.
Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a weekly talk show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.