Late last night I got a call from stalwart prayer warrior Bruce Sutcliff that a chain-link fence was being erected around the vacant lot across from the entrance to Planned Parenthood. The fence completely blocks off the spot from which we have been reaching out to Planned Parenthood clients. (By the way, you can click on any of the pictures on this page for a high resolution version.) Planned Parenthood has been griping about our presence in that lot ever since they opened. They launched a telephone campaign, calling on Dominick’s to throw us off that lot. Last night, Dominick’s caved to Planned Parenthood. I had been in touch with Victor Carlson, the general manager of the Dominick’s, and Winona Redmond, with public affairs at Dominick’s corporate office. I explained that we just wanted to be left alone there to reach out to women in crisis. When I talked to Ms. Redmond on Monday, she said she appreciated my input and that I would be “the first one I call” if any decision was made about what to do. Today I learned from Andre Salles of the Beacon that the permit application for the fence was dated October 4, four days before I spoke to Ms. Redmond. So far today, Ms. Redmond has not returned my calls. I hear she’s out sick—but she did talk to the Beacon. According to Andre, they cite public safety concerns do to the recent activity in the area. Of course, we’ve been out there, occasionally setting foot on that lot, since August 9. All of a sudden, two days after Planned Parenthood opens and realizes we might have an impact on their business, it’s a public safety concern. So what should we do about it? I suggest three action items:
- Go check it out. Drive by — today if you can — and take a look for yourself at the fence and the No Trespassing signs.
- Decide whether you can keep shopping at Dominick’s or not. As for me, I won’t shop at Dominick’s until the fence and signs come down. I’ll be dropping off my Dominick’s Fresh Card at the customer service counter with a note that as long as that fence is up, I won’t be shopping there.
- Call Dominick’s and parent company Safeway and tell them what you think about their action:
- Victor Carlson
- General Manager
- Dominick’s Store
- Please call Dominick’s customer line instead: 877-723-3929
- Winona Redmon
- Public Affairs
- Dominick’s Corporation
- 630-891-5000 x5157 (Update 10/15: Goes to voicemail)
- Brian Dowling
- Public Affairs VP
- Safeway Corporation
Now, no one disputes that Dominick’s has the right to put up that fence. But they didn’t have to. They could have just stayed out of it and let us be there offering help to women and praying for them. Instead, they put up a fence. This is a disappointing development, but far from discouraging. On the contrary, that fence goes to show how effective our whole campaign has been. Look how far the devil will go just to hassle us! He really hates what we’re doing here in Aurora. So let’s keep doing it.
Note: The fence will not disrupt the October 27 “We’re Here for Life” Rally.