Texas Planned Parenthood Holds Gala to Raise Money for Abortion ‘Super Center’

By Penny Starr | March 10, 2010 | 12:09 PM EST

Pro-life activists and religious leaders plan a rally near a six-story building that formerly housed a bank. The cash-register-shaped building is being renovated into an abortion facility by Planned Parenthood. (Photo courtesy of The Call to Conscience.)

(CNSNews.com) -- Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas is holding a gala next month to raise money for its new abortion clinic, which will be specially equipped for performing late-term abortions.
The April 30 event is being billed as a “historic event” to celebrate the opening of the 78,000 square-foot facility and the 75th anniversary of the Texas Planned Parenthood operation. Tickets for the fundraiser range from $25,000 for a table of 10 to $350 for individual seating.
The event will also honor Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro: husband and wife, successful attorneys, and significant financial supporters of Planned Parenthood. Gray served on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas and chaired its $15 million capital campaign.
Critics charge that the opening of the center will increase the number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood – already the leading provider of abortions in the United States – and increase the influence of the organization, which receives more than $350 million in federal (taxpayer) grants.
Federal law prohibits those funds form being used to pay for abortions, but the money is used for “family planning” programs at hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.
“Planned Parenthood is absolutely right when it claims in its dinner invitation that this is a ‘historic event’ - it is,” Lou Engle, founder of The Call to Conscience,” told CNSNews.com. “Its massive abortion facility on Gulf Freeway in Houston is truly unprecedented and will lead to countless innocent deaths and make late-term abortions more convenient.”
The Call to Conscience joined the Family Research Center and a number of other pro-life advocacy groups to protest the opening of the clinic, which Engle called an abortion “super center,” as reported earlier by CNSNews.com. Some 15,000 people took part in the protest on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, according to Engle.
Engle also charged that the new clinic, like others operated by Planned Parenthood  around the country, targets low-income and minority women by its location in the center of African American and Latino neighborhoods.
“While Planned Parenthood’s major donors and apologists dine at $350-a-plate for its diamond anniversary, innocent lives are being discarded for profit,” Engle said. “Planned Parenthood portrays itself as a benevolent force that helps guide young women through difficult choices.”
“That is absolutely false,” Engle said. “Planned Parenthood has grown itself into a booming business that targets poor and minority Americans.”
Inquiries by CNSNews.com to the press office of Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas about when the clinic will open and what the funds raised at the gala will be used for, were not answered as this story was posted.