Leading abortion provider Planned Parenthood has announced its latest project – a sprawling 18,000-square-foot mega-clinic in southern Illinois. The facility, which is located just 13 miles away from Missouri’s last surviving clinic, was built in complete secrecy in a bid to avoid protests and delays.
Earlier this year, Missouri’s state legislature passed a “Fetal Heartbeat Law” that effectively banned abortion from 8 weeks gestation. Despite the ban being blocked by a federal court last week, abortion in Missouri has been all but eradicated due to the increasingly restrictive laws.
In response to the sweeping new pro-life legislation being introduced across the country, Planned Parenthood used a shell company to secretly construct the new facility in Illinois, ensuring that they left no public trace. Chief Medical Officer of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri noted that the discreet nature of the project was vital in order to keep suppliers and contractors on the job – previous buildings have been hampered by workers who do not want to be involved in the building of an abortion clinic.
"We were really intentional and thoughtful about making sure that we were able to complete this project as expeditiously as possible because we saw the writing on the wall — patients need better access, so we wanted to get it open as quickly as we could," McNicholas told CBS News.
The abortion business, which has been heavily criticized in the past for allegedly trafficking fetal tissue and organs, hopes to welcome patients through its doors sometime later this month.
Illinois, in contrast with Missouri, has been extending abortion access with lawmakers passing the “Reproductive Health Act," which classes access to abortion as a fundamental human right.
As a result, and with many traveling across the state line to attain terminations, pro-life groups have called the state "the abortion capital of the Midwest.”
"It's a travesty that this is happening," Illinois Right to Life Executive Director Mary Kate Knorr told the outlet.
Those behind the clinic, however, appear to have no intention of letting up on their mission to make abortion easily accessible to those living in the surrounding areas.
“Everyone is so committed to the mission of being present in Missouri and taking the responsibility to provide access to abortion for Missourians in the place they live," McNicholas said. "Although I am confident it will be a fight, we will continue to show up to that fight."
Steven Aden, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of Americans United for Life, insisted that the project was right in line with the abortion provider’s key goals.
“How appropriate that Planned Parenthood has built a secret ‘mega-center’ to go with its mega-sized status as America’s biggest abortion business–fully one-third of all U.S. abortions are done at a Planned Parenthood facility,” he said, according to the Daily Signal.
According to their 2017-2018 annual report, Planned Parenthood carried out a staggering 332,757 abortions over the course of that year.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Scott Olson/Staff