Local faith leaders oppose accepting Planned Parenthood state funding

Jewish and Catholic leaders joined Councilmember Garry Bredefeld Tuesday afternoon to oppose the city approving the state funding.

Alyssa Flores Image
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

Local faith leaders are calling on the Fresno City Council to reject $1 million in state funding that would go to a local Planned Parenthood location.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local faith leaders advocating against abortion are calling on the Fresno City Council to reject $1 million in state funding that would go to a local Planned Parenthood location.

"I don't want my tax dollars at work to fund Planned Parenthood. I don't think that you do either," said Bishop Joseph Brennan of the Catholic Diocese of Fresno.

Jewish and Catholic leaders joined Councilmember Garry Bredefeld Tuesday afternoon to oppose the city approving the state funding, which would be granted to the Planned Parenthood Central Fresno location.

In addition to abortions, the health center offers contraception, STD testing, and STD treatment among other services.

"I am not saying that they probably don't provide those services," said Bredefeld. "I am sure that they do. But the primary emphasis of what they do is heinous and evil. If they eliminated abortion services, I would fully support them."

Fresno's City Council will vote on whether to accept the money this week. According to the text of state legislation, the money is intended for renovations at the health center on Fulton Street. The million dollars was advocated for by State Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula.

"He ought to be focused on cleaning up the water in his district," said Bredefeld. "And making sure children are safe in school. And that we have enough police in our communities."

Arambula declined to comment until after the council votes. But Mayor Jerry Dyer's office confirmed that if the council approves the funding, he will veto it.

In a letter to Assemblymember Arambula, Dyer said in part, "...acting in an administrative capacity for this potentially divisive issue is not in the best interest of the City of Fresno, and will likely cause division, extensive local debate among our residents and elected officials, and prove to be an unnecessary distraction from the City's core mission."

Mayor Dyer went on to suggest the money go through Fresno County's Health Department or directly to Planned Parenthood instead.

Councilmember Miguel Arias says the council will likely have the five votes needed to overturn the Mayor's veto.

"We do this on a routine basis. Last month we did it twice for workforce job training and gang prevention," said Arias. "This is a very routine process for us and it's unfortunate that it's been politicized."

The item is set to be voted on Thursday.