by Steven Ertelt
August 9, 2007
Aurora, IL (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in Illinois are set to begin a protest today at a new abortion center in Aurora that Planned Parenthood had secretly begun building earlier this year. The activists will prepare a 40-day vigil outside the abortion business to let women going there know how abortion will hurt them and destroy their unborn children.
The 22,000-foot building is one of the largest abortion centers in the nation but Planned Parenthood was able to build it under the radar.
The abortion facility doesn’t open until September 18, but local pro-life leaders say they want to make the community aware of what’s happening.
"We’re pro-life and we want to let them know we’re very upset with this," Rev. Hugh Fullmer of Mercy Church in Aurora told the Suburban Chicago News. "It’s not wanted in our community. That’s why we’re doing it."
Our Lady of Mercy parishioner Jane Fonner will be one of the people attending the protests.
"We feel that since the Planned Parenthood clinic probably will open … we are going to pray just peacefully. It’s just to ask for God’s grace and mercy for the unborn," she said.
Steve Trombley, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, told the newspaper he welcomed the protests and said, "I hope they bring lots of water with them because it’s hot."
"It isn’t going to have an impact on our opening whatsoever," Trombley said of the demonstrations. "The building is done. People need these services."
Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area will open the abortion business in the 200 block of North Oakhurst Drive, located in the DuPage County section of Aurora.
But the new facility escaped the attention of pro-life advocates and area residents until recently in part because signs at the location carried Planned Parenthood’s name for its new building — the "Gemini Health Center."
Work crews working on the abortion center have been working on it for eight months but no one knew the facility would be used for abortions until a contractor tipped off local pro-life advocates when he grew concerned about the amount of security and bulletproof glass for the building.
The tip mirrors concerns contractors had in Austin, Texas when they began a concerned effort to boycott the construction of an abortion center there. The building was ultimately completed, but the boycott caused significant delays.
Trombley recently admitted to the Chicago Tribune, "Frankly, I’m surprised we were able to keep it a secret for so long."
"We didn’t want anything to interfere with the opening … and, at this point, I don’t anticipate anything will stop that from happening," he said. "We want to introduce ourselves to the community … rather than be defined by our adversaries."
Even Aurora Councilman Chris Beykirch, a local politician with his ear to the ground, didn’t know the new building would house an abortion business until just recently. The property was zoned for a medical office and building and nothing indicated to him or area residents that Planned Parenthood was moving in.