by Steven Ertelt
November 28, 2007
Aurora, IL (LifeNews.com) — The city council in Aurora, Illinois, the site of a national battle over the last few months regarding a massive new Planned Parenthood abortion center, has approved a measure endorsing parental notification for abortions. The council hopes state lawmakers will do more to get the state’s notification law in place.
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.
The council unanimously approved the parental notification measure Tuesday night and the council wants the state to enforce the Parental Notification Act of 1995.
The law has been tied up in courts. Last year, the Illinois Supreme Court issued rules for enforcement but it is now in front of a federal judge.
Aldermen Chris Beykirch, Rick Lawrence and Richard Irvin, the three behind the measure, say there is a problem in the state where too many teenagers are getting abortions without telling their parents.
"I think this is important for the benefit of our community, and absolutely critical for the protection of our minor children," Irvin said, according to a Beacon News report.
Dozens of local residents spoke in favor of the notification vote beforehand and Bonnie Grabenhofer, president of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women, was the only one to speak in opposition to it.
"It is dishonest to wave a red flag and imply that minors can get all kinds of medical treatment without notification and consent," she claimed.
The next battle in Aurora focuses on a November 28 hearing of an appeal from pro-life advocates that Planned Parenthood should have obtained a special permit before building its new abortion business.
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 Planned Parenthood did not receive proper approvals from the city on all aspects of the new abortion center, including the location and the size and 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.