City officials threatened to fire me unless I approved illegal Planned Parenthood facility: former San Antonio city planner

Trenton Robertson says he found that Planned Parenthood had not secured proper licenses to operate the facility.
Thu May 14, 2015 - 7:03 pm EST
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SAN ANTONIO, TX, May 14, 2015 ( – Approve an illegal abortion facility or lose your job.

That's the ultimatum a former San Antonio city planner said municipal officials offered him when he stated that a new Planned Parenthood mega-facility violated city zoning laws.

Trenton Robertson, who has since left his job voluntarily, testified under oath that officials pressured him into approving the $6.5 million facility despite the fact that the nation's largest abortion provider had not secured proper licenses to operate the facility.

Under a Texas law signed by former Governor Rick Perry, all Lone Star State abortion facilities must meet the same health and safety regulations as any other ambulatory surgical center. That led to the closure of numerous abortion facilities statewide.

Planned Parenthood planned to open the massive new office, which provides abortion, in the city's Dreamhill Estates neighborhood in order to comply with the law's terms.

But Robertson says that Planned Parenthood was zoned under classification “C-1,” which is used for office buildings or buildings measuring 5,000 square feet or less.

The San Antonio Planned Parenthood abortion office is a surgical center that is more than four times that size.

In a deposition videotaped for a lawsuit brought by the facility's neighbor, Robertson testified, "A lot of people weren't happy with me for signing the verification letter at 2140 Babcock" – a letter verifying that the abortion chain broke city zoning law.

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Those people called him and threatened his job, he said under oath, specifying that termination was mentioned by the “Director's office and city manager's office. It sounded like it might have been John Jacks,” according to KENS-TV.

The allegations of pressure and corruption have been widely known and caught the attention of national pro-life organizations.

“When City Manager Sheryl Sculley and Rod Sanchez, director of San Antonio’s Development Services Department, saw Robertson’s letter, he was promptly demoted and run out of the city,” wrote Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “Such is the reward for pointing out that the city should follow its own development board policies. Especially when the exception is being made for the nation’s largest abortion chain.”

State leaders say that campaign donations may have played a role in Planned Parenthood's ability to bend the rules.

“Planned Parenthood has contributed more than $100,000 in private campaign donations to city council members who have helped them secure San Antonio – with or without approval from the people of San Antonio they were elected to represent,” according to Texas Right to Life.

The mayor of San Antonio at the time, Julian Castro, is now President Obama's secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is widely regarded as an upwardly mobile star in Democratic Party politics.  

  crime, planned parenthood, texas, trenton robertson

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