by Steven Ertelt
August 28, 2007
Aurora, IL (LifeNews.com) — The city of Aurora has hired an attorney to determine if the new Planned Parenthood abortion business there is legitimate. The abortion center has seen thousands of protesters after pro-life advocates discovered Planned Parenthood used a separate name to get its construction permits.
Planned Parenthood got around public knowledge and opposition by calling the building the Gemini Health Center in all of its building plans and documents.
Now, responding to the controversy that generated, the city has hired an outside law firm to review the approval process and make sure the city government followed the law in approving it.
Mayor Tom Weisner’s chief of staff, Bill Wiet, said Monday that the city obtained Chicago attorney Richard Martens to examine the development process for the abortion center. Aurora officials ultimately approved the building last November.
According to the suburban Chicago News, the city gave Planned Parenthood a 30-day temporary occupancy permit, which expires on September 17. The abortion center is expected to open the next day when it gets its permanent paperwork.
City officials hope to have Martens finish the review by then and determine whether the permanent permit is authorized, the newspaper reported.
"If the review indicates that our laws have been followed, the city will be obligated to issue a final occupancy permit for the facility opening on Sept. 18, 2007," Wiet said.
Eric Scheidler, who has been leading the local protests for the Pro-Life Action League, had planned to attend a city council meeting on Tuesday night. He said he was happy to see the city reviewing the process and hoped it would be a first step in stopping the permit.
"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."
His group has already sued the city over another matter — saying that its police prevented some of the free speech rights of pro-life protesters with strict restrictions on where they could gather outside the abortion business.
Abortion advocates decried the move to hire an attorney and Bonnie Grabenhofer, president of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women, said she thought it was a "waste of taxpayer money."
Over the weekend, the center saw more than 1,200 pro-life advocates protest and pray there. What started as a small group of local pro-life advocates weeks ago has turned into a national movement against the new facility.
“Aurora residents are coming out by the hundreds to tell the world they don’t want Planned Parenthood in their city,” Eric Scheidler told LifeNews.com. “We have already seen the deceptive tactics they used to get into our city and we don’t want the same methods used on our children.”
The group has sponsored a 24-hour 40-day prayer vigil that is slated to continue until the abortion center opens.
Only two dozen supporters of Planned Parenthood showed up at the pro-life rally to defend the abortion center. The Chicago Tribune indicated they mostly consisted of members of the DuPage and Kane County chapters of NOW, a national pro-abortion group.
ACTION: Contact Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and ask him to prevent Planned Parenthood from opening its abortion business. E-mail positive encouragement to Mayor Weisner at
[email protected] or call (630) 264-4636.