Planned Parenthood has gone to U.S. District Court in Chicago pleading for an order that would allow its new abortion clinic in suburban Aurora to be opened next week, even though a city investigation into its deceptive practices may not be finished.
According to a report in the Aurora Beacon, cited by WND Columnist Jill Stanek, Planned Parenthood is arguing the clinic is scheduled to open Sept. 18 and it already has accepted appointments for patients then, even though its temporary certificate of occupancy expires Sept. 17.
Mayor Tom Weisner said the city is looking into Planned Parenthood’s construction of the abortion clinic under the name of Gemini Health Center, and whether the deception creates a fatal flaw in the approvals the facility got from the city.
“We’re not going to allow operations to begin until we’ve accomplished the investigation,” the mayor said. The city already has hired a lawyer to review the process and determine if Planned Parenthood followed the city’s procedures, and the city attorney is looking into whether the developer lied to city staff and aldermen when it reported it was negotiating with a client for the building, even though the Planned Parenthood ownership and occupancy already had been determined.
The court petition by the nation’s largest abortion provider said the city of Aurora doesn’t have a legal basis for not doing what Planned Parenthood wants, and “its revocation of a temporary operating permit is motivated solely by political opposition to the constitutionally protected right to abortion services.”
But city public information officer Carie Ergo said the temporary occupancy permit already was scheduled to expire on Sept. 17, and a permanent permit would not be granted until the city reviews are completed.
“We did notify Gemini Office Development,” Ergo told the newspaper, the new permit likely would not be available on the 18th.
The owner was listed as Gemini Office Development when Aurora’s Planning and Development Committee approved the final plan, and the true use as an abortion facility was not disclosed to aldermen.
“The City of Aurora’s fig leaf argument that it was ‘misled’ about the nature of the services that Planned Parenthood intends to provide at its facility is neither factually nor legally persuasive,” Planned Parenthood said.
The attack came from Steve Trombley, president of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, who sent a three-page letter out.
According to documents assembled by Stanek, Trombley’s letter said members of the “Pro-Life Action League … have a well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property as well as other related criminal activity.”
However, the “documented history” was a court ruling that later was overturned – three times – by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Oh my, if that doesn’t scream libel lawsuit, I don’t know what does,” Stanek wrote on her blog. “Here, Trombley unmistakably accused [pro-lifers] of commandeering violence.”
A lawyer who has worked on the case, Tom Brejcha, of Chicago’s Thomas More Society and Pro-Life Law Center, was not slow to act when the Planned Parenthood letter surfaced. Within hours,
he had generated a reply:
“We are writing you, on behalf of our clients, to demand a prompt and public retraction of false, libelous and malicious statements in your letter, dated September 4, 2007, to the mayor and aldermen of the City of Aurora (‘letter’), and also in recent newspaper ads,” Brejcha wrote.
“Specifically, you falsely stated in your letter that those ‘opposing [your] new facility [who] are headquartered in Aurora … have a well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property as well as other related criminal activity’ (letter, p. 1). You go on to assert, also falsely, that ‘the zealots who have been opposing our new facility have a well-documented history of violence and criminal activity’ (id., p. 3),” the letter continued.
“Your many assertions about the Pro-Life Action League (‘the League’) and Joseph Scheidler, its director, are red herrings as they have nothing to do with the Aurora protests. But they too are false and misleading. This you well know, as your Planned Parenthood clinics were part of NOW v. Scheidler, a national class action suit, and you are bound by its final result in favor of the League and Scheidler. The verdict your letter cites is a legal nullity, as it was reversed by the United States Supreme Court, not just once but twice. In 2003, the verdict was overturned, 8-1. Then in 2006, the Justices again ruled for the League and Scheidler 8-0, ‘unanimously’ – as you describe the verdict (letter, p. 1) while omitting any mention of its reversal. Final judgment was just entered for the League and Scheidler, in compliance with the mandate of the U.S. Supreme Court, in federal district court here in Chicago.”
Planned Parenthood repeatedly listed the name of the owner as Gemini during the permitting and construction process, not revealing its actual plans for the building until a construction worker started questioning the multiple surgical rooms and bulletproof glass.