NewsWed Aug 29, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Residents Say Planned Parenthood Lied on Giant Abortion Mill Application - City Investigates
By Hilary White
AURORA, Illinois, August 29, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – City authorities in Aurora Illinois, near Chicago may be having second thoughts about the opening of the largest American Planned Parenthood abortion mill in their town. The 22,000 square-foot, $7.5 million facility is scheduled to open for business September 18.
The city has hired Chicago attorney Richard Martens to review the process by which the facility, nick-named the “Abortion Fortress” for its high brick walls, was approved in November 2006. At a public meeting earlier this week, local residents accused Planned Parenthood of “sneaking” into the city under an assumed name.
"This is definitely a rare occurrence," city spokesman Carie Anne Ergo told The Beacon News. "I don’t know of another instance in which the city has done this."
Eric Scheidler, communications director for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League, told local media that he was pleased the city was taking the step. "I don’t have the disadvantage of being a lawyer," he said. "I’m just a guy who thinks that if you lie to government officials, you ought to be held accountable."
The city’s move has infuriated abortion proponents. Bonnie Grabenhofer, president of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women, said she is outraged. “Planned Parenthood did everything they were required to do. The city of Aurora did everything they were required to do. Hiring a lawyer to investigate that seems like a waste of taxpayer money.”
But the decision to investigate came after local residents voiced a different opinion at a town meeting on Tuesday. City officials heard from the future neighbours of the abortion facility that Planned Parenthood “snuck” into their town by lying to officials and going through the application process under the name Gemini Development Corp. The city was only informed of the true nature of the venture a month ago. Planned Parenthood has a 30-day temporary occupancy permit, which expires September 17.
At Tuesday’s public meeting, 120 people signed up to speak and the presentations went until after 11 pm. The Daily Herald quotes Pastor Mark Smith at the meeting saying, “We could not debate these issues because they were not brought forward.”
Since 8 a.m. on August 9, local pro-life people have kept up the “40 Days for Life” campaign at the site, praying and fasting constantly and holding a 24-hour vigil. Pro-Life Action League, Ohio Right to Life and the Thomas More Pro-Life Law Centre are among the groups involved in organizing the campaign.
This Saturday, over 1300 pro-life people protested at the facility. A federal lawsuit was filed against the city, alleging the pro-life groups protesting at the site have "suffered a barrage of conflicting directions, restrictions and harassment from Aurora’s police officers."
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Over 1,300 Illinois Citizens Protest Largest Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic
For more information about the campaign against Planned Parenthood in Aurora see http://familiesagainstplannedparenthood.org/