Aurora, Illinois Officials Continue Battling Pro-Life Group Over Abortion Business

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 26, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Aurora, Illinois Officials Continue Battling Pro-Life Group Over Abortion Business

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 26
, 2010

Aurora, IL ( — Officials in this Illinois city will continue battling a pro-life group at a hearing today where both sides will re-engage in a two-year legal battle over the new massive Planned Parenthood abortion business. Attorneys from the Thomas More Society will appear in court on Monday for a hearing on whether they can proceed in their zoning case.

The legal wrangling regards the opening of the abortion center, which pro-life advocates say was done using the wrong zoning requirements and that others were ignored so the abortion business could be built.

They bought the case against the Planned Parenthood facility, and the Thomas More Society alleges it disregarded zoning laws and violated numerous Aurora laws when it was built in 2007.

The pro-life legal group also claims the City of Aurora continues to refuse to apply the correct zoning ordinance to Planned Parenthood, even after it admitted that its outside attorneys applied the wrong ordinance to the facility during their legal review in September 2008.

The various defendants have filed three separate motions, including motions to dismiss and for summary judgment.

“This facility should never have been built, and Planned Parenthood made a mockery of Aurora’s development process,” Peter Breen, Thomas More Society executive director and legal counsel, told today.

Judge Neal W. Cerne will hear the argument and may rule from the bench today.

Last November, DuPage County Circuit Judge Neal Cerne dismissed the lawsuit but gave pro-life advocates another chance to plead their case. At the time, Breen said the judge did not dismiss the lawsuit based on the merits of the case but on its format.

Before the lawsuit was filed, the Aurora Zoning Appeals Board voted unanimously to dismiss motions the attorneys filed.

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.

Planned Parenthood, the City of Aurora, Illinois and the Aurora Zoning Board are named in the suit and accused of depriving the families of their right as citizens to voice their concerns about the impact of the abortion business.

The suit contends Planned Parenthood used a fictitious name, the Gemini Office Development corporation, to hide its identity during the zoning approval process.

"By concealing the true planned use of the property, Planned Parenthood evaded the process that would have provided local residents and city officials with the opportunity to question how their neighborhood and community would be changed," TMC chief counsel Tom Brejcha told in February 2008 when it was originally filed.

Brejcha blamed the city for not rectifying the situation and accused Planned Parenthood of violating as many as 20 zoning ordinances during the process.

“Democracy can’t work for people if they are denied an opportunity to impact even their own neighborhoods," he added. “It simply isn’t fair to allow any entity, including Planned Parenthood, to operate outside the law.”

The lawsuit asks that the court revoke Planned Parenthood’s occupancy permit and that the land be returned to its original condition.

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