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Amid Protests, Planned Parenthood Opens

By Peter Mavrik in News on Oct 2, 2007 6:00PM

2007_10_pplogo.jpgJust a few weeks ago we briefly mentioned the failure of a judge to grant Planned Parenthood an injunction against the city of Aurora in order to open their newest facility. The injunction came after Planned Parenthood used a subsidiary called Gemini Office Development to erect the building. A smart move in many ways because if the general public knew PP was building a new facility, protesters would have shown up in droves. And not just at the construction site.

Around the country, opponents of abortion tend to take their personal crusade to the extreme by hunting down the contractors, subcontractors, permit issuers, and anyone associated with building these kinds of facilities. They show up at their houses. They block their cars. They harass their families. They end up causing all sorts of drama for the folks involved.

So you can see why PP would use a subsidiary for their construction. And it worked up until the time they were ready to open. Once the news broke, a few Aurora City Council members along with abortion opponents swept in and accused PP of committing fraud against the city by using their subsidiary's name (Gemini) on the permits.

Fraud? You're kidding, right? When Chipotle opened, nobody sued McDonald's for fraud.

In light of the judge's failure to grant the injunction, Aurora hired two independent attorneys to review the permit processes, and surprise surprise, they found everything was in order. The city even went a step further and asked the Kane County State's Attorney to review the process, and even he found it spotless.

With that, the center opened its doors today and published the following press release:

Today, Planned Parenthood is pleased to announce that its Aurora health center has opened and is now serving the women and families of Aurora. The decision by city officials to grant Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area a permit to open is a victory for the women and families of Aurora.

Like many communities across the country, Aurora has a growing need for affordable health care and access to reproductive health care services. The Planned Parenthood Aurora health center brings much-needed health care services to the members of the community, regardless of their income.

Still, we are concerned that the struggles the Aurora center faced in opening may be reflective of a growing battle against politics trumping health care, and increased barriers to reproductive health care access.

This isn't about permits or abortions. It's about a community that needs health care and a provider who is skilled enough to provide it across a broad range of income levels, something most hospitals can't even imagine. Plus, PP has a history of excelling in educating people about sexual and reproductive health. We're happy to see this facility open and hope that someday, in our idyllic future, everyone has access to information and health care.

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