New Stealth Tactics Employed in Illinois & Elsewhere
Though abortions in the U.S. have thankfully been on the decline since 1990, business at Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion chain, is booming like never before. Not satisfied with annual revenue approaching a billion dollars, the organization is embarking on a major building effort, with new megaclinics being planned and built across the country.
The latest (and steeped in controversy) is a $7.5 million, 22,000 square foot clinic being built in Aurora, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The Aurora clinic has a call center where five operators will be hired to handle an expected 15,000 calls a month. There is room for an additional dozen operators to handle calls for the Chicago affiliate’s entire area in the future, according to the Chicago Daily Herald.
However, because it was (to quote the Los Angeles Times), “Built under another name, the Illinois Planned Parenthood facility faces an inquiry into whether it obtained permits legally.” (See side bar, this page.)
Why Here, Why Now?
Not counting the Aurora clinic, Planned Parenthood has seven regular “health centers” in the Chicago area and three new “express clinics” in the suburbs, opened in the last few years. Two of the clinics in the downtown Chicago area perform abortions. How many are performed at each of those clinics is unknown, but the Illinois Department of Health reports 21,786 abortions for 2004 in Cook County, where the clinics are located.
Affiliate president Trombley told the Chicago Daily Herald that the success of the Planned Parenthood’s express locations showed the need for increased services. More than 13,700 patients visited the Naperville location last year, the nearest express clinic to the Aurora site.
“Many of those clients asked where they can get the full set of services,” Trombley told the Daily Herald. “We didn’t have anywhere to refer them. They want us there.”
According to reporters who have either seen or been told details of the new site, there is a waiting room that seats 65 and five counseling rooms where three can sit at a table. There are four surgical rooms at the clinic and a private recovery area with 13 rooms that can be cordoned off with curtains. With sufficient staff, large numbers of patients can be processed with gruesome efficiency.
The Aurora clinic also has a call center where five operators will be hired to handle an expected 15,000 calls a month. There is room for an additional dozen operators to handle calls for the Chicago affiliate’s entire area in the future, the Chicago Daily Herald reported.
The “Need” for a Megaclinic
Continuing Planned Parenthood’s practice of trying to latch onto whatever political trend is popular, no matter how tenuous the connection, the national office tied the opening of the Aurora megaclinic to the release of “the shocking statistic that 47 million Americans are uninsured” (8/31/07 release, “New Clinic Fills Health Care Need,” www.plannedparenthood.org).
It should be noted that lack of insurance would impact only Planned Parenthood’s ability to collect payment, not to see patients. If the patient lacked money, nothing would stop it from “nobly” treating the patient for free.
The national office quotes Trombley as saying that “Aurora is the second-largest city in Illinois and in dire need of medical services.” What exactly might this “dire medical need” be? Aurora has two major hospitals, several clinics, and hundreds of doctors listed in its yellow pages (see superpages.com).
Trombley says the Aurora clinic would “provide a broad range of services” including pregnancy testing, birth control, gynecological services, testing for STDs, as well as surgical and chemical abortions. WebMD lists 23 local ob-gyns in the Aurora area and dozens more in nearby neighborhoods, which would seem to be sufficient to meet the ordinary reproductive health care needs of a population Aurora’s size, but this apparently is not the area of “need” that Planned Parenthood is addressing.
One thing research reveals but Trombley does not is that the abortionist running Aurora’s abortion clinic retired in 2005 and closed the clinic doors for good in 2006 when the doctor brought in to replace him disappeared (Christian Newswire).
The national press release repeats another of Planned Parenthood’s latest diversions, minimizing the importance of abortion relative to its other services. President Cecile Richards said, “While this [abortion] is a very important health care service to women, 97 percent of our services are in the area of prevention, such as providing affordable birth control and medically accurate sex education.”
As was reported in the June 2007 issue of NRL News, this statistic is grossly misleading. Planned Parenthood apparently obtains such a figure by counting each pregnancy test, each packet of pills it passes out, every test it does for sexually transmitted diseases, etc., as a uniquely rendered “service.” It places all services on equal footing with abortion, the performance of which brings in substantially more revenue. It also ignores how other services may be bundled together with the abortion, such as a pregnancy test, treatment for an STD, etc., increasing abortion-related profits.
This “3%” figure also fails to address how certain Planned Parenthood clinics may be more geared towards abortion than others, say, by devoting inordinate amounts of personnel and floor space towards abortion clients.
In all the mention of the surgical wards, recovery rooms, and lists of reproductive services, one important medical service never comes up—childbirth/obstetrics. If a woman comes to Planned Parenthood wanting to keep her baby, this is one need the Aurora clinic appears unprepared to meet.
In all its plans for the new megaclinic, one thing Planned Parenthood forgot to plan for was parenthood.