Nashville JCC Cancels Rental Agreement With Embattled Planned Parenthood

Local branch of family-planning group, which has recently come under attack from Republicans, was to hold a fundraiser on the JCC's property.

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Demonstrators hold signs protesting Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., September 16, 2015.
Demonstrators hold signs protesting Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., September 16, 2015.Credit: AFP

The Gordon Jewish Community Center in Nashville, Tennessee, canceled a rental agreement allowing the local Planned Parenthood chapter to hold a fundraiser on its property.

The JCC decision to revoke the agreement with the family-planning group and abortion provider, which has come under attack from Republicans, came in response to “apparent pressures from some of the center’s members,” The Tennesseean newspaper reported Friday.

Planned Parenthood of Middle & East Tennessee had been scheduled to hold a fundraising cocktail party at the JCC on Oct. 1, an event featuring Nashville Mayor-elect Megan Barry and her husband.

Planned Parenthood has moved the event to a different venue, the identity of which it is not publicizing.

Leslie Sax, executive director of the Jewish Community Center, declined to comment to the newspaper.

Planned Parenthood officials told The Tennessean that JCC officials said several Catholic members had started to pressure the center to cancel the rental contract.

“We’re disappointed that they pulled out on such short notice,” Jeff Teague, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood chapter said. “A huge number of our major donors are members of the JCC. They’re very upset, obviously, that the community center did that with such short notice. We’re disappointed that they didn’t take a stronger stance. Basically, they’ve caved to a bunch of bullies.”

Planned Parenthood has been under attack from Republicans and anti-abortion activists for allegedly profiting from the sale of fetal tissue for medical research, a claim the nonprofit denies.

After learning of the cancellation,a Facebook group called Protest Planned Parenthood Nashville wrote on its page: “Due to much prayer and a coordinated effort by GJCC members, the Jewish Pro-life Foundation and Protest PP Nashville; the Gordon Jewish Community Center has canceled the October 1 Planned Parenthood fundraiser at their facility!!! This is incredible news!”

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