Tags: planned parenthood | illinois

Planned Parenthood Opens Ill. Mega-Clinic Built in Secret

Planned Parenthood Opens Ill. Mega-Clinic Built in Secret
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 02 October 2019 01:14 PM

Planned Parenthood on Wednesday opened an 18,000-square-foot abortion clinic in southern Illinois that was built in secret over more than a year to avoid public controversy and delays.

The mega-clinic is 13 miles away from Missouri's last remaining abortion center, in St. Louis, which is battling to keep its license, CBS News reports.

"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," Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, told the network.

"Patients need better access, so we wanted to get it open as quickly as we could."

Planned Parenthood has used a shell company since August 2018 to construct the center, seeking to leave no public trace that could invite protesters or delays, McNicholas said.

The new operation would begin taking patients later this month, CBS reports, and can serve as many as 11,000 patients a year.

In the meantime, the St. Louis operation began doubling its escort staff on Wednesday in anticipation of further demonstrations.

Missouri has some of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws — and the St. Louis operation is the state's only legal abortion clinic.

The center was nearly forced to stop providing abortions in May, CBS reports, when the state's health department refused to renew its license. It has remained in operation because of preliminary court injunctions.

In addition, Missouri patients must undergo state-mandated counseling — where they receive anti-abortion literature — before having an abortion.

They also must wait at least 72 hours before experiencing the procedure.

But Illinois lawmakers have expanded abortion access and loosened restrictions, CBS reports.

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Planned Parenthood on Wednesday opened an 18,000-square-foot abortion clinic in southern Illinois that was built in secret over more than a year to avoid public controversy and delays.
planned parenthood, illinois
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2019-14-02
Wednesday, 02 October 2019 01:14 PM
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