by Steven Ertelt
January 9, 2008
Aurora, IL (LifeNews.com) — The Aurora, Illinois Zoning Appeals Board voted unanimously to dismiss the motions pro-life attorneys filed to reverse permit decisions allowing a new Planned Parenthood to be built. Pro-life advocates there are working hard to shut down the new abortion business and contended it violated zoning rules when it obtained its original permit.
However, the zoning board dismissed the case saying the appeal didn’t fall within its jurisdiction. The board also claimed the appeal wasn’t filed in time.
Now, attorneys for the Thomas More Society, representing local pro-life advocates organized under the Families Against Planned Parenthood banner, plan to take their case to state courts.
City officials extended the occupancy permit of the abortion facility in December, but pro-life attorneys representing local residents said that shouldn’t have happened.
Attorneys with the Thomas More Pro-Life Law Center say extending the permit while an appeal of the zoning process continues is improper.
The board considered the city’s motion to dismiss the Thomas More motions, and motions to subpoena city officials and to invalidate the backdated zoning approval for Planned Parenthood’s center.
The Planned Parenthood has been embroiled in a zoning controversy since it first received approval to build a massive new abortion facility using the misleading name Gemini Development Corporation.
Thomas More attorney Tom Brejcha told the board Monday night that, since Planned Parenthood now occupies the building and not GDC, the paperwork is invalid.
He also repeated arguments that a special permit should have been issued because Planned Parenthood is technically a non-profit group operating a health care facility.
City officials investigated the special permit previously and said the abortion center was built in a planned development district with its own set of zoning rules.
FAPP spokesman Eric Scheidler commented on the hearing saying, "They’ve shut us down. We’re taking out case to state court. Stay tuned."
"I hope it’s clear to everyone that this was not the end of anything, nor was it a defeat," he added. "This case is still just getting started and we were in no way harmed or set back by last night’s outcome."
The dispute over the new abortion facility has become a national debate over how Planned Parenthood operates secretly, as it used a covert name to hide its identity during the zoning approval process.
Planned Parenthood used a similar secret process to open a new abortion center in Denver.