Report: Planned Parenthood Used ‘Shell Company’ to Build Secret ‘Mega’ Abortion Clinic

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, IL - OCTOBER 02: The exterior of the new Planned Parenthood Reproductive Clinic location is seen on October 2, 2019 in Fairview Heights, Illinois. The 18,000-square-foot clinic, secretly under construction since 2018, is just over the border from the last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri. (Photo by Michael …
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Planned Parenthood used a “shell company” to build an 18,000-square-foot “mega” abortion clinic in southern Illinois in secret, a CBS News report reveals.

According to the report, Planned Parenthood engaged in a year of “secret construction” as it built its new abortion clinic only 13 miles from the last abortion clinic in St. Louis, Missouri. That clinic was found to be in violation of state health and safety standards and is operating without a license under a judge’s order.

The report continues:

Since August 2018, Planned Parenthood has used a shell company to construct the facility, leaving no public trace that the former medical office would become one of the largest abortion clinics in the country. CBS News first visited the site in August, while it was still being built.

Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said the abortion clinic was built secretly to avoid protests and delays in construction when people discovered the project would be 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.

According to the report, the clinic will begin performing abortions this month.

In August, Planned Parenthood joined the ACLU in a lawsuit against Missouri over the state’s law that bans abortion past the eighth week of pregnancy.

The law — the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act — is considered one of the most comprehensive pieces of pro-life legislation in the country. It makes an exception for a medical emergency but not for rape or incest.

The law recognizes that “God is the author of life” and declares that Missouri “and all of its political subdivisions are a ‘sanctuary of life’ that protects pregnant women and their unborn children.”

The law also prohibits an individual from performing or inducing an abortion on the basis of a prenatal diagnosis of potential for Down syndrome or because of the race or sex of the unborn child.

Additionally, the measure requires parental consent prior to a minor obtaining an abortion.

However, a federal judge blocked the law less than 24 hours before it was set to go into effect.

Illinois, on the contrary, appears to have embraced abortion and has declared the procedure a “fundamental right.” Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act into law, a measure that repealed the state’s ban on partial-birth abortion.

“This law is the most extreme expansion of abortion on demand anywhere in the country, even worse than the one enacted by New York earlier this year,” said Jill Stanek, national campaign chair of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) in June.

An Illinois native and a former nurse, Stanek witnessed babies being born alive after abortions in Chicago and left to die.

“It allows abortion throughout pregnancy, up to the moment of birth, for any reason,” she said of the Illinois legislation. “It allows abortions by a non-doctor in a facility that’s not inspected and doesn’t have to report injuries. It strips away conscience protections for pro-life health care workers and forces all health insurance policies to cover abortions, including religious organizations.”

Mary Kate Knorr, executive director of Illinois Right to Life, told CBS News the new law has turned the state into “the abortion capital of the Midwest.”

“It’s a travesty that this is happening,” she said. “It’s a travesty that women come here to get an abortion.”

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