Thursday, September 20, 2007

Aurora, IL Planned Parenthood Clinic Opening Stalled

Apparently even when offering legal, constitutionally protected services, cities like Aurora will become gun-shy when anti-choice protestors become involved. Planned Parenthood of Chicago is going to federal court to try to force the city of Aurora to allow their new clinic to open as planned on September 18.
Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area is in federal court today seeking an injunction to allow its new health center in Aurora to open as scheduled on September 18, saying the City of Aurora has no legal basis for blocking the opening and that its revocation of a temporary operating permit is motivated solely by political opposition to the constitutionally protected right to abortion services.
The issue was over Planned Parenthood’s attempts to protect its new clinic from being targeted by anti-choice activists before it even opened.

As the Washington Post article points out, numerous attempts to open new clinics in other cities have been stymied by a variety of tactics, most famously refusing to sell concrete and other materials to construction companies working on a new clinic in Austin, Texas in 2003. (The tactics backfired however, brining a lot of attention to the anti-choice methods and the clinic did eventually open).

What the anti-choice side fails to acknowledge is that the women of Aurora are asking for these services. The Beacon News (the local paper) reported that 18 women already had appointments scheduled for Tuesday.

And lest anyone forget, Planned Parenthood also offers many services besides abortion.
Planned Parenthood says the Aurora clinic is sorely needed in a region with low access to reproductive health services and high rates of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy. The Alan Guttmacher Institute ranks Illinois 46th nationwide in access to contraceptive services. With a fast-increasing population of more than 157,000, including about one-third Latino immigrants, Aurora is the second-largest city in Illinois.
The city has backed down a little by not forcing the Planned Parenthood staff to vacate the building even though their temporary permit is expiring, but the opening has already been delayed while the case is pending before a federal judge.

---Rachel Joy Larris

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