Planned Parenthood's Sandra Fluke Event Forced Out of Midtown Bar Proof

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Planned Parenthood's quarterly "Cocktails For A Cause" get-together last Tuesday had some extra star power -- Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student famously called a slut by Rush Limbaugh for daring to speak her mind. What the event didn't have was a venue, after the bar that had agreed to host it mysteriously backed out at the last minute.

The trendy Proof Patio & Bar, above the even trendier Reef restaurant in Midtown, initially said it would love to host the usually low-key event. (Hey, 100 people on a Tuesday night -- why not?)

But the day before the event, Proof management called Planned Parenthood and backed out.

See Also: - Rick Perry's War On Planned Parenthood Suffers Setback (Updated) - In Midst of Komen Ruckus, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Has Rare Leadership Change - Planned Parenthood: Punched in the Uterus by Misguided Texas Senate

"It was a logistical issue," a manager murmured when Hair Balls called.

Logistical issue? You're a bar, it's Tuesday so you'll probably be dead without the event, there's 40 acres of parking across the street, the weather was nice so the patio would be usable. So what, you were out of tonic water?

Some people couldn't help wondering if the presence of protesters -- even the small number that may show up for such a PP event -- scared off management of Proof or one of the nearby places.

Planned Parenthood officials won't say what happened, either. All they know is that -- with a big-name speaker in town -- they had one day to find a new venue. (Thanks to the ball-lessness of certain people, they didn't add because they're nice.)

The marketplace of ideas, outside the Continental Club.
Stepping in was Continental Club manager Pete Gordon, who agreed to host the gathering.

"They were our neighbors when we first opened [Planned Parenthood has since moved], I know those folks, I support them, so when they called I said yes," says Gordon. "Fortunately we had an open night for them."

One attendee told Hair Balls about the Continental Club scene, "When I arrived, there were a couple of people holding signs and protesting."

The number eventually grew to "about ten" protestors. HPD had two officers present, but they mostly stood in the side street between the club and the Double Trouble coffee shop. No incidents were reported.

But Gordon had some fun with the protestors, marching among them holding a placard that read "Gabba Gabba Hey."

"It was all peaceful," says Gordon. "They did their thing, the people inside did theirs."

Media relations officer Rochelle Tofolla of Planned Parenthood said the event went off without a hitch and drew over 100 people, who paid $20 a ticket to hear Ms. Fluke speak.

As for the protestors, she laughed and said, "It's the same people who picket the clinics. It's sad, because they really don't understand women's health issues. They just know they're against abortion and against birth control.

"Cocktails For A Cause" is a quarterly mixer held by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

Follow Houston Press on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews or @HoustonPress.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.