City officials in Aurora, Ill., who in 2007 allowed construction of a massive Planned Parenthood abortion mega-clinic in apparent violation of their own zoning codes, now are being challenged by pro-life activists who previously filed a lawsuit on another front.
Thomas More Society, which has been battling the abortion business and is pursuing a lawsuit over the issue, says it now has filed formal appeals to both the Aurora Building Code Board of Appeals and the Zoning Board of Appeals on behalf of Fox Valley Families against Planned Parenthood.
“On July 1, the city of Aurora quietly issued a Final Certificate of occupancy to the 22,000-square-foot Planned Parenthood facility,” officials with the law firm said. “Unlike the now-expired Temporary Certificate of Occupancy under which the facility had been operating, the Final Certificate would grant permanent legal status to the facility.”
So the Thomas More Society yesterday filed the new appeals.
“The appellants claim that the city continues to refuse to apply the correct ordinance to Planned Parenthood, even after the city conceded that its outside attorneys applied the wrong ordinance to the facility during their legal review in September of last year,” the law firm announcement said.
The situation has been clouded further by reports Planned Parenthood’s subsidiary, Gemini Office Development, falsified permit applications, obtained an invalid building permit, had invalid building inspections, and violated other city laws.
“Planned Parenthood has made a mockery of Aurora’s development process,” said Peter Breen, attorney for the Thomas More Society. “They have brazenly committed fraud against the city and have strong-armed their illegal non-profit ‘business’ into the backyards of citizens who were given no voice to oppose the building of this Wal-Mart sized abortion facility. It is time for the ‘City of Lights’ to shine a harsh light on Planned Parenthood’s dirty tactics.”
The Thomas More Society previously filed a nine-count lawsuit which the city unsuccessfully tried to have dismissed. The case now is pending before state court in DuPage County.
WND previously reported when the city engaged in a long defense of its approval of the abortion mega-clinic, despite complaints from neighbors.
City officials, in fact, have admitted the abortion business was built under the wrong zoning requirements, and was required to meet demands that were much less strict than the zoning actually in force for the land where the 22,000-square-foot building sits.
Breen earlier told city officials the land’s zoning requires a for-profit corporation, while Planned Parenthood itself is “non-profit,” and through that status obtained more than $8 million in state bonds to build the project.
Breen also confirmed the city admitted a major error because their arguments over the abortion business suddenly changed from referring to ordinance 093-123 to 093-124. The older law they had been citing already had expired, opponents said.
“In addition, the city cited the wrong ordinance as a basis for favorable zoning determinations in a pair of investigations undertaken by two touted zoning experts, private lawyers acting on behalf of the city, which led to Mayor Tom Weisner announcing the renewal of Planned Parenthood’s temporary occupancy permit…” the law center said earlier.
“If the proper ordinance had been cited and complied with, Planned Parenthood should never have opened,” the group said.
The project erupted into controversy when officials for a company operating as Gemini Office Development (GOD) admitted they were a front for Planned Parenthood and confirmed they concealed their identity in order to prevent the public from knowing in advance about the huge abortion business they were opening in Aurora.
The opening of the facility was held up several weeks, from September to October in 2007, for an investigation into deceptions by the abortion provider during the permitting and construction process, but the mayor eventually concluded there was no legal reason for the abortion business not to open.
The project had been described as an office building throughout its permitting process. However, as WND columnist Jill Stanek reported, a pro-life construction worker on the project became suspicious of the bulletproof glass and surgical suites, components not routine in an office building.
It was soon outed as an abortion facility, prompting protests and outrage from pro-life community members who said, as Stanek phrased it, “If citizens may lie to occupancy permit officials, may they also lie to police officers? Or at city council meetings? Where will Aurora draw the line between permissible and impermissible lies?”
Breen also said the project violated rules concerning the submission of plans, setback requirements and parking minimums.