Yesterday, the Pro-Life Action League’s attorneys from Chicago’s Thomas More Society went toe to toe with Planned Parenthood in Illinois’ Second District Appellate Court over the zoning of its massive “Abortion Fortress” in Aurora, Illinois.
The case began when Planned Parenthood opened the Aurora abortion center under a cloud of controversy and deceit back in the fall of 2007. See the Fall 2007 special issue of the League’s Action News for a full recounting of that story.
The day their doors opened the League was in court with a lawsuit alleging that the facility was operating illegally where it stood due to the city’s zoning laws, which prohibit the operation of a not-for-profit health center—which Planned Parenthood claims to be—in that district.
Last year, that suit was dismissed in state court, and the fate of the case now lies with the three justices of the appellate court who are handling this case.
Planned Parenthood’s Tax Deception Bombshell
In 2007, we knew that Planned Parenthood was playing both sides when it came to their tax status, but at the time we had no idea how deep that deception really was.
They had received $8 million in tax-free bonds to build the facility under the guise of being a not-for-profit business, but persuaded the City of Aurora to allow them to open in part by arguing that they were a for-profit business that would pay taxes and contribute economically to the city.
Yesterday in court, our attorneys revealed that in 2013 Planned Parenthood had successfully appealed to the state to have their tax status changed so that they were not required to pay property taxes and received a refund for several previous years of taxes paid!
As our attorneys put it in their Motion for Judicial Notice [PDF] where they brought these revelations to the attention of the appellate court:
Scarcely was the ink dry on the Circuit Court’s August 29, 2013 summary judgment approving Planned Parenthood’s zoning [as a for-profit medical clinic] . . . when Planned Parenthood hastened to the DuPage County Board and the Illinois Department of Revenue to insist that its use was, and always had been exclusively charitable, and that it was entitled to a full property tax exemption.
I wish I could say I was shocked, but this is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Planned Parenthood—bilking their customers, the health care system, and the state for every penny they can.
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Pray for a Favorable Ruling As Justices Deliberate
Dozens of local pro-life activists packed the courtroom, many of whom have been involved in the ongoing prayer, counseling and protest presence at the Aurora abortion facility since the very beginning of the fight nearly eight years ago.
In fact, so many were present that there was not enough space to accommodate everyone and some had to wait outside the courtroom!
Ann Scheidler, TMS Lead Counsel Peter Breen, Chief Counsel Tom Brejcha, Eric Scheidler and Joe Scheidler outside the Appellate Court [Photo by Matt Yonke]
Our attorneys presented a very persuasive case and it was clear that this new tax information caught the judges’ attention. We’re told it will likely be several months before the court hands down their ruling. In the meantime, please pray that the court will see the truth of Planned Parenthood’s incredible track record of deception and fraud and order the facility to be closed down.
LifeNews Note: Matt Yonke writes for the Pro-Life Action League.