The Fight for Life: One Man's Battle to Overturn Roe v. Wade
AUSTIN, TX -- Today marks the 31st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Some 40 million unborn children have been killed since the ruling came down in 1973. Over the years, abortion opponents have fought against the killing in any way they could.
Now one man is fighting the battle for the unborn in his own way. And almost single-handedly, he's been able to stop construction of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in one of the most liberal cities in America.
Austin, Texas has become a major battleground in the abortion debate. A self-proclaimed liberal college town, the capital of Texas is one of the only cities that funds abortions. It is a thriving center for New Age activities, and used to be the headquarters of famous atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hare. All this makes for a tough place for anyone to take a stand against abortion.
Planned Parenthood had hoped to build a $6.2 million abortion clinic on this site, but there are no workers, no building, because the building has been stopped dead in its tracks.
It was stopped by one man who held a deep-seated conviction, Chris Danze. Danze owns his own construction company in Austin, and has been active in the pro-life movement for years. He said, "Anyone who worked on the project was participating in abortion even if it was indirectly."
Danze said, "Initially, I sent out 25 letters to my closest construction associates, people who supply me materials, and informed them that Planned Parenthood was going to build this abortion clinic and asked them respectfully not to participate. And that if they did participate, unfortunately, I would not be able to do business with them."
Danze's associates decided to join a boycott against the Planned Parenthood clinic. Those associates then asked their friends in the construction business not to participate either.
Danze said, "The message we took to the contractors and the vendors was two-fold. One, it's wrong to build an abortion clinic, and two, it's bad for future business."
Some contractors were reluctant to walk away from sure money. But all changed their minds eventually.
Danze commented, "Three or four of them walked away when the churches got involved and said we want to know who is working on the project and who is not working on the project. We want lists. And when the contractors found that out, they realized that it would be a bad business decision to be on the project."
Bad business because the Planned Parenthood facility would be the fourth to open in Austin.
Compare that with the potential for construction jobs and repairs for more than 600 Austin churches. It is a case of simple economics.
Now Danze says that Planned Parenthood can't find contractors within a 60-mile radius to work on its new facility.
CBN News wanted to speak on camera to a Planned Parenthood representative, but even after repeated phone calls to their spokesperson, she would not provide anyone for us to interview. She did say tell the Austin American Statesman that "Danze's efforts should be a wake-up call to pro-choice Americans everywhere."
But no where has this been felt more than in this liberal town. Carol Everett, a former "pregnancy termination provider," and now founder and CEO of the pro-life Heidi Group located near Austin, said, "Can anything good come out of Sodom and Gomorrah - Texas? Yes."
Everett added, "What Chris did was different. Because he used his own sphere of influence. And I believe that if we could export this, and everyone started to look at their sphere of influence, it could have a profound effect on the opening of Planned Parenthood clinic openings."
Marvin Olasky is the Editor-in-Chief of World magazine. He also lives in Austin. He says the fact that Danze has had such success in his liberal hometown is amazing. He said, "He hasn't gone out and given fiery speeches. He is just quietly done what he could do in his profession... serving God in his calling, thinking creatively about ways to take the medium in that particular area of life and fight back against the abortionists. And if it can be done here in Austin, as Chris is doing it quite successfully, it can be done anywhere in the United States."
Danze's reason for doing this is simple: "My love for Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 25, 'What you do to the least of My brothers and sisters, you do for Me. And what you don't do to the least of My brothers and sisters, you don't do for Me.’"
But commitment like that does not come without a cost. The pro-choice leaders are threatening to go after Danze's business in a reverse boycott.
Asked what would he do if pro-choice forces were successful in drying up his business, Danze replied, "That's fine. This is worth it. It's worth stopping the abortion clinic from being built for my business to die. You know, life is short. If we don't take action, stand up against evil, than what are we hear for? If we can't defend the least of our brothers and sisters, if we aren't willing to give up anything and sacrifice, than we are part of the problem. Not part of the solution."