A Springfield, Illinois Planned Parenthood quietly expanded its abortion practice in the city this week, unbeknownst to most local residents.
The State Journal-Register reports the abortion facility moved to a new location in May, and this week, local residents discovered its plans to begin doing later term surgical abortions.
Up until this week, the Springfield Planned Parenthood only did chemical abortions up to 10 weeks gestation. On Thursday, it expanded its abortion business and began doing surgical abortions up until 18 weeks gestation, according to the report. Local Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Julie Lynn said eventually, they hope to do abortions even later – up to 19 weeks and six days gestation.
The abortion expansion came as a surprise to the community. In May, Brigid Leahy, Planned Parenthood’s Springfield-based director of public policy, told the newspaper that Planned Parenthood was not planning to do surgical abortions at the new location.
When asked about the comment this week, Lynn told the newspaper that Leahy was not one one of their leaders who was aware of the plans.
However, a local government official said Planned Parenthood “wasn’t very transparent” with the Springfield community. According to the report:
Ward 9 Alderman Jim Donelan said Planned Parenthood’s decision to offer surgical abortions is “very disappointing. It’s not something I believe the residents of Ward 9 want to see happen in their neighborhood.”
Donelan, a Catholic, said he wasn’t happy with the way Planned Parenthood officials used a limited liability company and a trust to purchase the property for its new site. Those tactics concealed Planned Parenthood’s role in the purchase for a year but apparently didn’t violate any laws.
“I think it’s a sad day for Springfield,” said Springfield Right to Life President Tim Moore, after the newspaper reported Planned Parenthood’s plans on Wednesday.
The abortion facility was doing 300 or more abortions a year, according to the report; and because of the new surgical abortion expansion, even more unborn babies could lose their lives. However, local pro-lifers plan to expand their outreach to moms and babies outside the abortion facility.
On Sept. 1, Springfield RTL is moving its office to a location across the street from the Planned Parenthood, Moore said. The pro-life group planned the move before they learned about the abortion facility’s surgical abortion plans, he added.
Here’s more from the report:
Moore said Springfield Right to Life didn’t know for sure that surgical abortions would be added to the Bruns Lane facility until Wednesday. From a moral standpoint, surgical abortions aren’t any better or worse than medication abortions, he said.
“They’re still ending an innocent life,” he said.
… The pro-life group will continue to take part in and encourage peaceful, respectful protests outside the clinic.
“We don’t tolerate or encourage nasty behavior,” Moore said. “We don’t do the ‘bloody baby’ signs. We don’t yell at women as they walk in there.”
Springfield Planned Parenthood officials said the surgical abortions will cost between $400 and $1,500; chemical abortions cost about $450.
Unlike the Illinois situation, most areas of the country are seeing a record number of abortion facilities close as abortion rates drop and the facilities lose business. Thanks to pro-life educational efforts, public policy and support efforts, more moms are rejecting abortion and choosing life for their unborn babies.