Illinois action blog

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Press Conference

I drove into Aurora for the opening of the clinic and it was amazing. After coming over a bridge I saw a HOARD of anti's holding their signs, keeping their kids chanting, and the best thing? They were all on the other side of the street. The clinic is located on a private drive thus when a client drives in they don't ever have to see the protesters, even if the anti's hold a vigil for the next 40 years. Sweet, eh?

I walked up and snapped some photos (they will be up on the Flickr site soon) and was stunned by the number of anti's. I was more moved by the number of locals who showed up, some with kids in tow, to express their support. Even after the short press conference was over, supporters were still coming in as one woman said, "Just to show my support. Thanks!"

CEO & President, Steve Trombley spoke for about 15 minutes and took some questions. His statement will be up soon is now up, but here are some the questions he was asked (note these are my notes, not a transcript):
  • What now? How do you provide healthcare with 100 protesters outside?
    Planned Parenthood has a long history with dealing with protesters. We have a private drive that will ensure that clients do not have to see or deal with them. You can drive into the shopping center as if going to Dominick's and turn into the drive.
  • Do you fear for your safety or the safety of your staff due to the long history of violence associated with the anti-abortion movement?
    We take everyone's safety seriously. We have heard our opponents talk about legal civil disobedience and that's ok. But no, we have not received any personal threats.
  • Why Aurora?
    Aurora is a fast growing community, the 2nd fastest growing city in Illinois. The availability of healthcare has not kept pace. There is a desperate need for healthcare in this area and we are here to provide that. Every day that we have been here, women from the area are calling for appointments. They know we are here and they want access to healthcare.

I didn't get a full tour of the facility, but as I've said before, I've been inside the Near North clinic. Both the former location and the current location. This facility kicks ass. It was built with the utmost of privacy in mind. The recovery rooms are private. This along with great security will allow for a woman's loved one to meet her in recovery after an abortion.

Bottomline, this is exactly the type of clinic that all those TRAP laws demand.

It's awesome being in this clinic. I haven't felt this moved about feminism and reproductive justice since the March for Women's Lives.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I showed up today after writing letters to the editor, the Mayor, and my Alderman and following this fight closely. I am so relieved it happened and am so impressed by Planned Parenthood. Thank you to all of PP staff for the risks you have faced. We are grateful!

I've always been pro-choice and used PP services in my 20s. I've always voted for pro-choice candidates. But the Aurora situation was a tipping point for me. I wll continue to be active in ways I was not before. Thank you again.

P.S. Thanks for the link on the TRAP laws, wasn't familiar with them.

October 2, 2007 at 3:31 PM  
Anonymous dsw said...

Congratulations to Chicago Area Planned Parenthood and all their supporters on this important advance. Hard work, strategic thinking, people volunteering time and giving money--all in the service of healthcare and choice for women. It's awesome!

October 3, 2007 at 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Bob Simpson said...

Wow....finally some good news to celebrate. I helped people get abortions in the pre Roe v. Wade days as part of the free clinic movement and it floors me to see how far we've come when I look at what Planned Parenthood has built in Aurora.

I know the antis want to go back to the bad-old-days symbolized by the coat hanger and the anguished frightening trip to the emergency room, but I say hell no, we won't go!

Bob "Bobbo" Simpson

October 3, 2007 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ig Yeah! I am so tired of the people using this platform for political agenda! I fully support education and feel that PP provides THAT first and foremost - thank you!

October 3, 2007 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Elenamary said...

to me the most amazing thing is that PP has a private drive! i have to deal with the protesters at my PP who come right up to the 3ft gate to harass patients. i am envious of your private driveway.

November 19, 2007 at 8:09 PM  

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