Planned Parenthood used a shell company to secretly build a massive abortion clinic in southern Illinois in order to attract more Missouri women who are seeking abortions, according to CBS News.
Missouri has only one remaining abortion clinic, and even that one is locked in a legal battle that threatens its ability to continue providing abortion services. So Planned Parenthood built its "mega-clinic" just 13 miles from St. Louis to make it easier for women in Missouri to get an abortion.
The clinic was built secretly because Planned Parenthood wanted to avoid any protests and construction delays that would likely have occurred if people were aware of what the building was going to be. From CBS News:
Other Planned Parenthood projects had run into problems once the public realized the construction was for an abortion provider. In one instance, a communications company had refused to install telephone and data lines; in another, a cabinet maker never delivered an order, McNicholas said. In Birmingham, Alabama, protestors targeted Planned Parenthood's suppliers, flooding their social media accounts with fake negative reviews.
"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," Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said.
Construction on the facility began in August 2018. CBS News even visited the building in August of this year, although the news organization waited until construction was complete to report on it.
Missouri enacted a law to ban abortions after eight weeks, although the law was blocked by a federal judge in August. Women seeking an abortion in Missouri must receive state-mandated counseling and pro-life literature beforehand, and they must also wait 72 hours before getting the abortion.
In contrast, Illinois has passed laws expanding abortion access, including the Reproductive Health Act, which establishes abortion as a fundamental right.
Mary Kate Knorr, the executive director of Illinois Right to Life, is disappointed that the state has become a destination for those seeking abortions.
"It's a travesty that this is happening. It's a travesty that women come here to get an abortion," Knorr told CBS News.
The new Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic is set to begin taking patients later in October.
(H/T: The Hill)