The following appeared in an August 8 story in the Victorville Daily Press.

Pro-life demonstrators packed into Victorville City Hall [Victorville is in the Mojave Desert, north of Los Angeles] on Tuesday night to show support for an appeal against the proposed Planned Parenthood, which was denied based on a split decision by council members, as one member, Mike Rothschild, dismissed himself on the basis of a personal conflict of interest.

Angela Valles and Mayor Ryan McEachron voted to uphold the appeal, while Rudy Cabriales and Jim Kennedy voted to deny it.

In the large auditorium there was standing-room-only as an attorney representing Planned Parenthood, Chris Spiker, and Lisa Hayes, founder of Concerned Citizens of the High Desert, faced off on many technical topics, as Hayes said they could not appeal the application on moral grounds.

“If we did this to puppies and kittens they would shut down whatever facility it was occurring at immediately,” said Steven Fresquez, who held up graphic signs of aborted fetuses during a public comment session.

The location for the future Planned Parenthood is 15403 Park Ave. in Victorville.

Opponents said this is a zoning and safety hazard on the grounds that protesters would constantly occupy the site and disrupt the flow of traffic. Hayes mentions that parking could become an issue, as the nature and location of the facility warrants adequate access to emergency vehicles.

Councilwoman Valles was concerned with whether medical personnel would have appropriate licensing. She also questioned the necessity of the seven-foot wall and the continued viability of local businesses.

Robert Larivee, who claims to have been in the construction industry for 30 years, asked that the city reject the plans on the basis that the center does not currently meet code requirements.

“The site plan itself has flaws in it,” Larivee said. “The site plan is in violation of the fire code, the electricity code, ADA code, the zoning code.”

“I believe that cities have a right to determine which business can open up in their communities,” Larivee said, garnering a large round of applause. “If elected officials don’t have the right to decide who does business in their cities, then where are our rights?”

“Planned Parenthood is a rich bully that’s taking advantage of the impoverished city of Victorville,” Hayes said. “Their site plan modifications must be denied.”

Hayes said that Planned Parenthood performs abortions at 100 percent of their facilities, and that although they claim that none will be performed at the new Victorville location, they are deceiving the public to gain support “under the farce of education.”

Spiker said Hayes owns no land in Victorville and thus is unable to officially appeal the site plans, even though the offices of Concerned Citizens of the High Desert have a Victorville address.

Spiker argues the site plan modifications meet objective standards and that the minor alterations to the plans are being overly scrutinized by the city and subject to excessive and irrelevant demands in an effort to stymie the construction process — which he said are a violation of constitutional rights.

“First Amendment activities and third-party threats cannot affect review of the permit. It’s simply unconstitutional,” Spiker said. “The appellants are flat wrong on the law.”

To read entire story, click here.