Hundreds of pro-lifers protested in Fairview Heights Wednesday against a new 18,000-square-foot Planned Parenthood (PP) clinic they say is capitalizing on anticipated growth in abortion business from Missouri.
Pam Fichter, eastern regional chair of Missouri Right to Life, told the Metro East Sun that Missouri is on the verge of losing its only remaining abortion clinic. In June, the state’s Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC) sided with the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in its decision not to renew the license of a PP clinic in St. Louis. Fichter said that sidewalk pro-life protestors recorded 80 ambulance visits to the St. Louis clinic since 2009. She further said that PP would not allow DHSS to speak to doctors who perform abortions there.
The clinic has remained open while PP appeals the AHC decision; a hearing date is set for October 28. Fairview Heights is only a half-hour drive from St. Louis.
Andrew Bath | Thomas More Society
The Fairview Heights clinic on Salem Place near Interstate 64 is set to open later this month. It became known to Fichter and other pro-life groups just a week ago.
“We were shocked when we heard, but secrecy is how Planned Parenthood operates these days,” she said. “They’re afraid of the protestors, and even of contractors not completing the work if they find out the true nature of the project they are working on.”
The Chicago-based pro-life legal group, Thomas More Society, said that the secrecy surrounding the Fairview Heights clinic is similar to PP’s “covert” Oct. 2, 2007 opening of what was then the nation’s largest abortion clinic in Aurora, Illinois.
“Illinois’ expansive new abortion law, which allows dismemberment abortion up to the moment up birth, is affecting women and children beyond the boundaries of the state,” Andrew Bath, Thomas More executive vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood’s pattern of operating in secret is a disgrace and insult to the good people of Illinois. That ghoulish vendor of death hid its true identity and the building’s intended purpose to avoid the objections they knew would come from the people of the community they’ve now infected. And they had the evil audacity to announce it on the anniversary of the secret opening of the Aurora abortion site a dozen years ago.”