Fresno

Bredefeld, religious leaders push city to oppose Planned Parenthood grant

Ahead of Thursday’s Fresno City Council vote to authorize $1 million in state funding for the local Planned Parenthood clinic, Councilman Garry Bredefeld and pro-life advocates, including religious leaders, called on the council to oppose the deal. 

Bredefeld held a press conference at City Hall Wednesday and was joined by Right to Life of Central California Executive Director John Gerardi, Roman Catholic Bishop of Fresno Joseph Brennan and local Messianic Jewish Rabbi Amnon Shor. 

In the recently approved state budget, Asm. Joaquin Arambula (D–Fresno) requested a $1 million grant from the state’s general fund for south Fresno’s Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. 

Thursday, the council will vote to serve as a conduit for the funds, which Arambula’s budget request said will be used for upgrades to exam tables to be ADA compliant, the purchase of new ultrasound probes and to remodel the medical records room. 

The funding request states that the upgrades are needed so Planned Parenthood can “expand abortion acess in the Post-Roe World.” 

Bredefeld decried Planned Parenthood’s operations, saying he believes that every “unborn child conceived is a blessing from God” and calling abortion evil. 

Bredefeld noted that California has 135,000 abortions performed annually and said Gov. Gavin Newsom “wants California to be the abortion capital of the United States.” 

He also pointed out that California has included $207 million in the new budget for proposals that fund the abortion industry and that Newsom has proposed $57 million to help people come to California to get an abortion. 

“It’s evident that Newsom’s dream is that California becomes some sanctuary state for abortion, but in reality California will become a statewide slaughterhouse for the innocent and defenseless unborn,” Bredefeld said. “Yet hundreds of millions of dollars for murdering the unborn is not enough for Arambula and the Fresno City Council. This $1 million directed for abortions is frankly disgraceful and a complete misuse of taxpayer money. That money should be used for adoption services, prenatal care and counseling services to assist with pregnancy.” 

With Councilmembers Miguel Arias, Esmeralda Soria and Luis Chavez sponsoring the resolution, Bredefeld said he expects it to pass with a supermajority and would have the votes to override a veto from Mayor Jerry Dyer. 

Gerardi called the grant a funding solution in search of a funding need and discussed the need in the Central Valley for prenatal healthcare. 

“The calculus is very simple: There are an enormous number of women in the San Joaquin Valley who are on Medi-Cal, and fewer and fewer providers want to take Medical-Cal patients for OB-GYN services because it does not bill well,” Gerardi said. 

“So the challenge we face in the San Joaquin Valley – and this is a huge public health problem that’s been identified by both St. Agnes Medical Center and Valley Children’s hospital as one of the key healthcare challenges that the San Joaquin Valley faces – the challenge is providing greater prenatal care access to lower income women, and the lack of access to prenatal care results in all kinds of really terrible problems.” 

Following Gerardi, Bishop Brennan thanked Bredefeld and Gerardi for their leadership and argued for taxpayer funds to be used elsewhere. 

“I’ve been here long enough in the Central Valley to be on pretty much any freeway that exists here in the Central Valley. You’ll see it on the 41, the 99 and all the other arteries, you’ve seen signs that say ‘your tax dollars at work.’ I don’t want my tax dollars at work to fund Planned Parenthood, and I don’t think you do either,” Bishop Brennan said. 

“There’s so many of our tax dollars that are being used, sometimes unbeknownst to us by the federal government, state governments as well, that in some ways we don’t have an awful lot of say in that we can’t do anything about immediately and in real time. But this is an exception. This is a different situation, and we can make our voices heard, because that’s precisely the point. We’re here to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. We’re here to defend those who cannot defend themselves.” 

Rabbi Shor, who is also running for the 14th State Senate district against Anna Caballero (D–Salinas) called out his opponent for supporting abortion. 

“Anyone who takes life, whether it is a baby – the unborn baby especially that has no way to defend itself – is committing a murder,” Shor said. “And I stand wholeheartedly against that.”

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.