Alliance Defending Freedom demands compliance with public meetings law
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Did a medical center serving an area bordering Mexico violate California’s open meetings laws in a deal it made with Planned Parenthood?
The Imperial Valley Coalition for Life thinks so, and they are demanding that El Centro Regional Medical Center rectify the violation by the end of the month.
The city of El Centro, which owns the medical center, is the seat of Imperial County, which borders Mexico.
“Planned Parenthood cares more about its abortion profits than it does about the people of El Centro, the majority of whom seem clearly to not want Planned Parenthood here,” said Michael J. Norton, Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the pro-life group. Norton said in a statement that Planned Parenthood threatened to sue the members of the board of the medical center and misled them into thinking they could lose Medicare and Medicaid funding as a result.
“That is nearly impossible in light of the abundance of existing abortion facilities in the area,” Norton said. “Planned Parenthood simply used its typical bully tactics to get what it wanted.”
ADF said that medical center trustees went into private session after a Feb. 24 public meeting attended by some 2000 people. In the closed session, the trustees reportedly deadlocked in a 3-3 vote, ADF said.
The tie should have resulted in rejection of the agreement, ADF charged, but the decision was left with medical center management officials, who signed the agreement.
The law firm wrote to Amanda Brooke, the acting president of the board of trustees Monday, pointing out that state law does not allow the board to conduct or debate such a vote in private.
“Planned Parenthood allegedly threatened litigation if the board didn’t pass the ‘transfer agreement,’ which would allow the abortion giant to send women suffering from botched abortions to El Centro Regional Medical Center for care. Without the agreement or a similar arrangement, Planned Parenthood cannot engage in abortions in El Centro," the ADF statement said.
Hospital officials said board approval was never needed;, according to KPBS. The El Centro Planned Parenthood clinic set to open in the spring.