You know, the thing about this Aurora Planned Parenthood clinic debacle is that it just keeps getting more and more absurd.
First off this week was the “silver bullet” incident. The anti-choice foes who are desperate to bring the clinic down dug through zoning rules and announced at the tops of their voices that Planned Parenthood was required to obtain a special permit for their building and didn’t. Very pleased with themselves, the antis declared that they had found the “silver bullet” that would kill off Planned Parenthood’s case. Luckily (and amusingly), they were wrong.
Aurora zoning law requires a special-use permit for a non-profit medical clinic. To acquire such a permit, the applicant must schedule a public hearing, notify property owners within 250 feet of the proposed building and advertise the hearing in a local newspaper, none of which had happened.
But [Aurora spokeswoman] Ergo said the property was zoned as a planned development district, and the city moved forward based on those regulations.
“Based on the land use petition and qualifying statement that was submitted by Gemini Office [Development], the proposed use was a permitted use for the property,” Ergo said.
Of course, that in no way declares the case over. But I do think that it clearly demonstrates the mounting desperation on the anti-choice side, not to mention an embarrassingly loss.
It gets better though! Who remembers the fact that anti-choice protesters filied a federal lawsuit against the Aurora police for supposedly interfering with their right to protest (i.e. making sure that they didn’t block traffic or cause an unnecessary disturbance outside of people’s homes)? Now, probably just for the fun of it– and because they know that since their donations don’t go to anything like, oh, medical services, they have a lot more money to blow than PP who is obviously getting strapped for cash at this point– they’re slapping Planned Parenthood with a libel suit.
I kid you not.
Opponents of a new women’s health facility in Aurora say they plan to file a lawsuit today, alleging that Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area President and CEO Steve Trombley has libeled them on several occasions in the past month.
The suit, expected to be filed in Kane County, will specifically reference a letter Trombley wrote to all Aurora aldermen on Sept. 4, and several full-page newspaper ads Planned Parenthood has taken out to drum up support for its new facility.
In the ads, Trombley explains why Planned Parenthood used a subsidiary name, Gemini Office Development, to gain approval for its new building on East New York Street — to “protect the privacy and safety of vendors working on our project and our future clients.”
Trombley lays out a case against Joe Scheidler, who was sued in the 1980s for allegedly orchestrating acts of violence against facilities where abortions were performed, and against doctors and clients at those facilities. That case, commonly called NOW vs. Scheidler, was in court for more than 20 years, and was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court three times.
Scheidler’s son, Eric, is the communications director for the Pro-Life Action League, and has been at the forefront of the Aurora protests.
Oh, really? That’s libel now, is it?
Well, gee, how about the fact that attempted murder was committed at an abortion clinic as recently as April 2007 by an anti-choice activist? Or the fact that in July, Dr. Tiller’s clinic was vandalized by anti-choicers to extraordinary lengths? Oh, or maybe the four day anti-choice rally in honor of Paul Hill, who murdered an abortion-providing doctor? That’s not even mentioning the seven abortion clinic workers who have been murdered, and the numerous other who have been shot, or any of the other crazy violence that has been perpetuated against abortion clinics and clinic workers over the years.
And yet despite all of this, they want to keep harping on and on about how they’re getting a bad rap (that they created and deserve) and claiming that Planned Parenthood is seeking sympathy by protecting itself with bullet-proof windows and security cameras.
Let’s just get this out of the way: are all anti-choice protesters violent? No. Are even most of them violent? No. Are some of them violent potential murders that we need to watch out for? Oh hells fucking yes. And there’s nothing slanderous in saying so.
How about we look at it from another angle and talk about some real libel, like the fact that anti-choicers constantly, regularly and loudly lie about Planned Parenthood like there’s no tomorrow. They say that PP profits from abortions (actually, they’re a non-profit organizations and ofter abortions at the absolute lowest price possible), or that they encourage teenagers to have sex, protect rapists and “get young girls hooked on their birth control pills, which don’t work.” Hmm, wait, why exactly isn’t Planned Parenthood suing them? Oh, because they have better things to do with their money, like (killing babies!?) helping women.
In any case, as always, you can refer to the Planned Parenthood Aurora blog for more information and ways to help. For those of you in or around Aurora, there is an Aurora City Town Hall Meeting on October 2nd and there is a town hall meeting in Chicago on October 11th.
[Thanks to Veronica for the libel suit story.]