Hundreds of pro-life advocates rallied outside a huge new Planned Parenthood abortion facility Wednesday in Illinois after it was built in secret.
Last week, news broke about the new abortion facility in Fairview Heights, Illinois. Planned Parenthood has been building it secretly for about a year, and plans to open later this month. The new abortion business will abort unborn babies for any reason up past viability. It advertises abortions up to 24 weeks — when premature babies are surviving at 22 and 23 weeks. Planned Parenthood also hopes to attract women from other nearby states where abortions are more heavily restricted.
Pro-life advocates quickly took action, organizing the Wednesday event and planning more outreaches in the future. News reports showed hundreds of people at the rally, holding signs that read “Planned Parenthood Hurts Women,” “Stop Abortion Now,” “Abortion Betrays Women” and “Defund Planned Parenthood.”
Kathleen Wilson, of Swansea, told KBIA that the abortion facility is an “embarrassment” to their community and state.
“Life begins at conception and all life is precious, and in today’s world, they don’t regard life like they should,” Wilson said.
Madison Reynolds, a nursing student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and president of the campus Students for Life chapter, said women and children deserve better than abortion.
“Many people claim they are for women’s choice, but the unfortunate thing is many women going in to have an abortion feel like they had no choice,” she said. “Women don’t need to be told they can’t; instead, women need to be showered with support and love and be told they can.”
Reynolds said her pro-life club helps support pregnant and parenting students on campus.
During the rally, a local pregnancy center announced plans to expand its outreach to families in Fairview Heights, KBIA reports. Kathy Lensoff, president of Mosaic Pregnancy and Health Centers, said they plan to move their satellite office right down the street from the new Planned Parenthood.
Several state lawmakers also participated in the event. Among them was pro-life state Rep. Avery Bourne, who mourned the recent passage of a radical pro-abortion law in Illinois, according to the Belleville News-Democrat.
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“This is what they wanted to have happen,” she said, pointing to the new abortion facility. “They wanted Illinois to be an abortion destination in the Midwest. They wanted women to come from other states … they expanded late-term abortions so that they are legal in Illinois.”
Bourne encouraged pro-life advocates to keep fighting for unborn babies and their mothers.
“This is the consequence of elections,” she said. “We have to keep fighting on the sidewalks. We have to keep fighting in the legislature. We have to keep fighting in the hearts and minds of our friends and family and neighbors, because right now in Illinois, abortion is declared a fundamental right.”
Local pro-life advocates promised to be a continued, peaceful presence outside the abortion facility, hoping to offer mothers compassion and support and to save babies’ lives.
A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman responded to the rally by insisting that the facility will open soon, Fox 2 Now reports. Yamelise Rodriguez, the president of Planned Parenthood for the St. Louis region and Southwest Missouri, said they want to be “an oasis” for abortions in the Midwest.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in the U.S. Last year, it reported a record $1.66 billion in revenue and more than 330,000 abortions, as its patient numbers and non-abortion health services dropped.
According to CBS: “Since August 2018, Planned Parenthood has used a shell company to construct the [Fairview Heights] facility, leaving no public trace that the former medical office would become one of the largest abortion clinics in the country. CBS News first visited the site in August, while it was still being built.”
Planned Parenthood has been secretive about new abortion clinics in the past, too. Last year, a Michigan community expressed outrage after the abortion chain used a different name on paperwork so that it could open a new abortion facility in secret.
In Kansas, pro-life advocates recently stopped Planned Parenthood from opening a new abortion facility right next to a high school in their community. It used similarly secretive tactics in the community, but pro-life advocates found out anyway.