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

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.

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"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.

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