by Steven Ertelt
November 14, 2007
Aurora, IL (LifeNews.com) — The latest skirmish in the battle over a new abortion center in Aurora, Illinois is continuing and members of the city council there are slated to vote on a parental notification measure next week. Meanwhile, a hearing is set for November 28 on an appeal from pro-life advocates, who say the city’s zoning approval law was misused.
After the new abortion business opened, pro-life members of the city council said they wanted to approve a city ordinance at least allowing parents to know when their daughters are considering an abortion.
The measure initially covered parental notice for all medical procedures but now targets just abortion after the council’s Government Operations Committee sent the full council an amended resolution.
Now, the resolution only addresses abortion and urges the state to "aggressively" pursue enforcement of a 1995 law that has been tied up in courts. Last year, the state Supreme Court issued rules for enforcement but it is now in front of a federal judge.
Meanwhile, Peter Breen, an attorney with the pro-life Thomas More Society law firm, requested a zoning hearing last month and, by law, the city has 60 days from the filing of the legal papers to set a date for the hearing.
Breen and local pro-life advocates say Planed Parenthood did not receive proper approvals from the city on all aspect of the new abortion center, including the location and the size ad number of parking spaces at the facility.
They also say the abortion business should have obtained a special-use permit because Planned Parenthood is technically a non-profit group operating a health care facility. City officials investigated the special permit argument last month and they say the abortion center was built in a planned development district with its own set of zoning rules.
The hearing will involve city representatives, pro-life attorneys and lawyers for Gemini Office Development, the name Planned Parenthood used throughout the zoning approval process to hide its identity as the owner and operator of the abortion center.
All of the documents in the approval process use the Gemini name — something both pro-life advocates and members of the city council have complained about during the debate over its opening.