Aurora clinic fight continues

AURORA, Ill. — The opening of a Planned Parenthood clinic here was again delayed Sept. 20 after a federal judge denied the organization’s motion that the city of Aurora allow the clinic to open as scheduled.

The judge rejected Planned Parenthood’s arguments that city authorities are keeping the clinic closed because of religious and political pressures. Specifically, Planned Parenthood claimed that the city is overly scrutinizing the permit process because the clinic would provide abortions among its various services.

Steve Trombley, CEO of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, said that Planned Parenthood would amend the motion and resubmit it to the court.

Lawyers picked by two city aldermen to review the permit process have been disqualified because of a potential conflict of interest. Their law firm donated money to one of the alderman’s campaigns, and the same alderman recently attended an anti-abortion rally.

At the request of the Aurora City Council, John Barsanti, states attorney for Kane County, began a review of Planned Parenthood’s permit process. The family planning organization had filled out the paperwork on behalf of its subsidiary, Gemini. Foes of Planned Parenthood and other women’s health clinics have seized on that technicality, charging fraud, with the aim of blocking the clinic.

Barsanti’s report is expected Sept. 28 and will likely play a key role in determining the immediate future of the now empty facility, which is fully equipped to provide a wide range of ob-gyn health needs.