Hardball in Aurora

hardball1.jpgFrom the Aurora Beacon, yesterday:

Responding to criticism by anti-abortion activists and some Aurora aldermen, Planned Parenthood officials on Wednesday said they were truthful with the city about the development approval process for a clinic proposed for the city’s far East Side.
Steve Trombley, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, sent a three-page letter to all 12 aldermen and Mayor Tom Weisner in the wake of accusations that the agency defrauded city staff about the women’s health center, scheduled to open Sept. 18….
“I’m not sure what he (Trombley) was hoping to accomplish,” with the letter, Weisner told The Beacon News.

Well, I am. Here’s the first intent, quoting Trombley’s letter…
(Also see full letter on page 2.)

I want to assure you that Planned Parenthood was open and truthful throughout the extensive permitting process and continues to welcome the cooperation of the City of Aurora.

“Welcome the cooperation”? Doesn’t that sound like a veiled lawsuit threat?
Second intent, from Trombley’s letter:

The activists of the Pro-Life Action League who have been opposing our new facility are headquartered in Aurora and have a well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property as well as other related criminal activity.
We think you will understand the urgency of our concerns when you consider the following facts about the Pro-Life Action League and its leader, Joe Scheidler.

  • Scheidler (along with a handful of other anti-abortion leaders) formed PLAN – the Pro Life Action Network. Scheidler called PLAN the “pro-life mafia” and proclaimed “a year of pain and fear” for anyone seeking or providing abortion.
  • After a six-week trial in 1998, a jury in Chicago unanimously found that the Pro-Life Action League Network orchestrated 121 crimes involving acts of threats of force or violence against women’s health facilities that offered abortion. These crimes proven at trial included beating a post-operative ovarian surgery patient over the head with a sign, knocking her unconscious and causing her to bleed from the sutures in her abdomen; seizing a clinic administrator by the throat, choking and bruising her; and slamming a clinic staff member and volunteer against the stairs (sending them to a hospital and causing permanent injuries) and destroying medications and equipment. Joe Scheidler personally praised the individuals who carried out some of these misdeeds, even taking credit for them….
  • Oh, my, if that doesn’t scream libel lawsuit, I don’t know what does, and a newspaper retraction as well, since it printed the letter. Here, Trombley unmistakably accused Scheidler and PLAL of commandeering violence.
    scotus02.jpgYet Trombley also unmistakably knows NOW lost that case – with an unprecedented three US Supreme Court rulings against it. He has to know because Planned Parenthood was part of that case, since it was brought on behalf of all US abortion clinics.
    And a small sidenote, PLAL is not “headquartered in Aurora.” Its office for over 20 years has been in Chicago.
    Stay tuned. Hard to imagine all you who have been ga-ga for Planned Parenthood aren’t having your eyes opened by all this.
    Trombley letter:
    September 4, 2007
    Hon. —
    City of Aurora
    60 East Downer Place
    Aurora, Illinois 60507
    Dear Alderman — :
    As you know, Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area will soon open a health center in Aurora. This facility will provide comprehensive gynecological services, including breast exams, pap tests, pregnancy tests, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and abortion services.
    As you also know, those who oppose these services and this facility have asked the city of Aurora to take action to prevent the opening of this facility. I am aware that last week you heard from a number of residents organized by the Pro-Life Action League who alleged that Planned Parenthood and its subsidiary, Gemini Medical Office Group, somehow deceived the city of Aurora as it engaged in the permitting process. We are also aware that some members of the Council have made public statements in the media agreeing with that position.
    I want to assure you that Planned Parenthood was open and truthful throughout the extensive permitting process and continues to welcome the cooperation of the City of Aurora.
    Our corporate and financial documents were explicit about the involvement of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area:

  • The corporate entity listed in our application for the permit is listed in public records.
  • The tax-exempt bond financing for the project through the Illinois Development Finance Authority required a public hearing and further public disclosures of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in this project. Planned Parenthood obtained tax-exempt financing, and complied with the additional public disclosures this process required, even though it could have easily financed the project privately with little or no public disclosures.
  • The property was already zoned for medical uses, and we answered questions put to our representatives honestly and truthfully. We always planned to build a medical facility.
    Did we hope to protect the privacy and safety of vendors working on our project and our future clients? Did we hope to avoid disruptive and potentially violent protests that might delay the opening of a facility greatly needed in DuPage and Kane Counties? You bet we did. It should be obvious by now why we chose that course.
    As any responsible full-service women’s health care facility would do, we took all appropriate precautions to prevent those who oppose women’s access to contraception and abortion from learning about plans to build this facility. The activists of the Pro-Life Action League who have been opposing our new facility are headquartered in Aurora and have a well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property as well as other related criminal activity.
    We think you will understand the urgency of our concerns when you consider the following facts about the Pro-Life Action League and its leader, Joe Scheidler.

  • Scheidler (along with a handful of other anti-abortion leaders) formed PLAN – the Pro Life Action Network. Scheidler called PLAN the “pro-life mafia” and proclaimed “a year of pain and fear” for anyone seeking or providing abortion.
  • After a six-week trial in 1998, a jury in Chicago unanimously found that the Pro-Life Action League Network orchestrated 121 crimes involving acts of threats of force or violence against women’s health facilities that offered abortion. These crimes proven at trial included beating a post-operative ovarian surgery patient over the head with a sign, knocking her unconscious and causing her to bleed from the sutures in her abdomen; seizing a clinic administrator by the throat, choking and bruising her; and slamming a clinic staff member and volunteer against the stairs (sending them to a hospital and causing permanent injuries) and destroying medications and equipment. Joe Scheidler personally praised the individuals who carried out some of these misdeeds, even taking credit for them.
  • Scheidler once said “I just wish I had a medal or some sort of battle scar for each time I was arrested” for his forceful opposition to abortion and throughout the period of militant anti-abortion protesting, when clinic bombings and murders of doctors spotted the headlines, Scheidler was unapologetic about his group’s tactics. “I’m doing what I have to do. So what? I’ve got some misdemeanors… I don’t consider myself a criminal,” he said.
  • Immediately upon learning of the Aurora facility, these radical anti-abortion activists began photographing the license plates of our construction workers and vowed to harass those who were working to build the facility. They also announced their intention of seeking a permit to picket the homes of our employees who will operate the facility.
    Does it truly come as a surprise, then, that as we complied with all legal and public disclosure requirements, we simultaneously sought to keep this private while the construction was proceeding because the zealots who have been opposing our new facility have a well-documented history of violence and criminal activity?
    Planned Parenthood has been providing reproductive health care throughout the Chicago Area for the past 60 years. We have a reputation for providing high-quality, accessible and affordable care for all who need it, and we look forward to serving the people of Aurora.
    We have provided this support despite the often violent and illegal actions of those who oppose a woman’s exercise of constitutionally protected rights to reproductive freedom.
    If you have any questions regarding this issue or would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at 312-592-6800.
    Sincerely,
    Steve Trombley, President and CEO
    Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area
    Cc: Mayor Tom Weisner
    City Council

  • 39 thoughts on “Hardball in Aurora”

    1. Yeah, that whole “unknown occupant” thing is a bit hard to cover up if they’re going with the “gemini is a known subsidary of PP” thing.
      It stands to reason that a subsidary of a corporation would be fully aware if said corporation was the intended occupant of the building.
      Also, it seems like he’s saying “yeah we lied…but we had good reason!” Does he honestly believe that he’ll be able to squirm out from under this that easily?

    2. When asked on one of the forms who the intended occupant was going to be, they did write “unsure at this time” (or something like that – I remember it being here on Jill’s blog). Now they’re saying they always knew.
      Trombley is a BS artist, and a poor one at that.

    3. Trombley’s point makes sense to me! The fact is, right-to-life violence is a persistant problem, and it’s silly to fault PP for trying to avoid it.

    4. If people are so thrilled about a PP opening, where was the parade, Somg? I thought you guys were ahead. No need for you to show up at all. It’s in the bag, right? WRONG!

    5. I’m not going to clog Jill’s site with a bunch of posts, but check out PP’s web sites. They are very panic stricken about their reproductive rights being taken. Why? Somg, I thought you were winning.

    6. Somg, to answer your other question about abortion/punishment, at the present time, it’s legalized murder. I’d like to see it become criminal in the future. The government has legalized this heinous act, so it can be confusing to some women. Some figure that the legalization makes it acceptable. Even convicted murderers deserve to be forgiven. If abortion ever becomes illegal, then the criminal justice system should proceed with appropriate punishment.

    7. Hardball in Aurora II: Pushback

      I knew it. Steve Trombley, CEO of Planned Parenthood Chicago, must retract the “false, libelous and malicious statements” in his letter or face “legal redress,” this according to a letter just sent electronically to Trombley by Tom Brejcha, attorney fo…

    8. SOMG:
      “The fact is, right-to-life violence is a persistant problem, and it’s silly to fault PP for trying to avoid it.”
      Think again.
      From the National Abortion Federation:
      Clinic Violence in North America:
      2007 – Arson on one clinic – no proof pro-life was involved
      2006 – No violence reported on the “Clinic Violence statistic report”.
      2005 – 2 arsons – no proof pro-life involved
      2004 – 2 arsons – no proof pro-life involved
      2003 – 2 arsons; 1 bomb – no proof pro-life involved
      2002 – 1 arson – no proof pro-life involved
      2001 – 2 arosons; 1 bomb – no proof pro-life involved
      2000 – 1 stabbing – no info on stabbing. No information if it was solved, still open, or if investigation is still undergoing. All other crimes this info was listed.
      3 arsons – no proof pro-life involved.
      No murders or shootings since October 1998. There were 10 murders and shootings from March 1993 – October 1998
      There were about 100 Butyric Acid attacks from January 1991 – July 1998 – no information on who was responsile, if is was solved or if their is still an investigation or if pro-life involved.
      There were 654 Anthrax Attacks (Threatening letters being sent) from 1998 to 2002. *Clayton Waagner confessed to 554 of those. Clayton Waagner says he did some of his many crimes in attempt to stop abortion. He had a history of violence long before his desire to stop abortion. He is not represented by any legitimate pro-life organization. (On a side note – this man is nuts, being faced with federal charges of terrorism he represented himself in court. Can we get any dumber?)
      For the most part, violence in the 1990’s were from Army of God members. 31 members signed 2 petitions (not all signed both) stating that the murder of abortion providers were justifiable. (*most disturbing is that one was a doctor, one had the title of “Rev.”and one had the title of “Fr.” )
      The Army of God does not have the National Right to Life support and does not have many many other Pro-Life group support. They are considered radical extremists – *Even NAF admitted that.
      The Army of God is to the Pro-Life Movement what ELF is to the Environmental movement or what PETA is to the Animal Rights Movement. They are nuts!
      Many of the above cases that have no proof of pro-life involvment are still open. These could have been done by an unhappy client. An upset/angry boyfriend/husban. Random act. And many other scenerio’s outside of the pro-life movement.
      Exactly why, then, is big bad Planned Parenthood afraid of little ol’ us? According to a Pro-Choice (pro-abortion) organization there have not been any documented case of pro-life violence since 1999. That was 8 years ago.

    9. SoMG,
      Trombley’s point makes sense to me! The fact is, right-to-life violence is a persistant problem, and it’s silly to fault PP for trying to avoid it.
      Would you like to cite some references of pro-life violence…other than the few crackpots that have been renounced by the movement like your Paul Hill…because you see, as a group, we become outraged when one of ours harms someone in the name of the cause. If only NOW would do the same thing when those clinics get exposed…

    10. Exactly why, then, is big bad Planned Parenthood afraid of little ol’ us? According to a Pro-Choice (pro-abortion) organization there have not been any documented case of pro-life violence since 1999. That was 8 years ago.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      …And Al Qaida hasn’t attacked the US in 6 years. Why should we be afraid of little ‘ol Al Qaida?

    11. Is PETA really that bad?
      They have a point about CAFOs–those things are horrible. You should hear about my last science fair project, which revolved around them.

    12. As a vegan and animal rights activist, I have to disagree about the Army of God being comparable to the ELF and PETA. PETA doesn’t kill anyone, and is the mainstream group for animal welfare advocates. The ELF (and its counterpart, the Animal Liberation Front) do not endorse killing whatsoever – they support direct action, including property destruction and the liberating of animals.
      The Army of God is a small group of fundamentalists who openly endorse murder.

    13. I saw the list of crimes against abortion clinics and abortionists and it made me think. If you divide the total number of crimes by the number of abortion providers in the nation and compare the ratio you get to crimes committed, let

    14. Some years back an abortionist was shot, I believe it was John Wayne Patterson. Some PC websites I have visited still treat this shooting like its some big mystery. This couldn’t have been an attempted robbery gone bad, his wallet wasn’t taken. Could the shooters have been pro-lifers lurking in the shadows? Could Patterson have been yet another martyr?
      What these sites don’t mention is that Patterson was killed leaving a porn theater in the middle of the night in a dangerous neighborhood. Apparently he came across some muggers rifling the trunk of his very expensive car(a clarion call to every thug within a 5 mile radius) and got shot while confronting the muggers. They likely panicked and fled. Police investigated and ruled this a random killing, though no mention is made of this on the websites. A random killing in a dangerous neighborhood in the middle of the night is certainly not an unusual occurance, but why ruin a possible martyrdom with such mundane facts.

    15. SOMG,
      I just visited the site. I can’t find any legitimate pro-life organization supporting this Paul Hill Memorial. Please let us know if I’m missing something.

    16. Laura –
      “…And Al Qaida hasn’t attacked the US in 6 years. Why should we be afraid of little ‘ol Al Qaida?”
      Al Qaida is extrememly active in terror in Iraq and Pakistan. They have vowed to destroy all Americans.
      Many of their attacks have been stopped by law enforcemets before the attacks take place. In the US we have stopped many attacks recently. Do you think this should stop? One Al Qaida attacked killed 3,000 people in America. One clinic attack has the potential of killing….in a guess….20 people. (20 people too many).
      I don’t think All pro-lifers have vowed to destroy abortionists and their clinics (we vow to stop abortion – not kill) the majority of Al Qaida have vowed to kill all Americans and Christians. To Al Qaida it is death or convert.
      Do you see a difference?

    17. Bethany – that post where there was some misunderstanding:
      “If nobody wanted to have abortions, then I would not want there to be abortions, for example.”
      Bethany: See, again, Doug…this is why I think that you worry too much about what the majority thinks, and not enough about what’s actually right or wrong.
      “Ay Yi Yi…. The majority has nothing to do with that. I mean that if abortion was not desired, then I would not desire it either.”
      Doug, that is just silly! Come on! Do you support murder of born people, just because some people still desire it?
      Bethany, that is just backwards!

    18. PIP –
      “Is PETA really that bad?”
      You’re kidding me right?
      From http://www.petakillsanimals.com
      “From July 1998 through the end of 2005, PETA killed over 14,400 dogs, cats, and other “companion animals” — at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. That’s more than five defenseless animals every day…..
      Year Received

    19. Phil –
      “PETA doesn’t kill anyone, and is the mainstream group for animal welfare advocates. The ELF (and its counterpart, the Animal Liberation Front) do not endorse killing whatsoever – they support direct action, including property destruction and the liberating of animals.”
      Some hightlights from:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Liberation_Front
      “The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is the collective name for anonymous and autonomous individuals or groups that, according to the now defunct Earth Liberation Front Press Office, use “economic sabotage and guerrilla warfare to stop the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment.”
      “The ELF was classified as the top domestic terror threat in the United States by the FBI in March 2001”

    20. Hippie –
      “I saw the list of crimes against abortion clinics and abortionists and it made me think. If you divide the total number of crimes by the number of abortion providers in the nation and compare the ratio you get to crimes committed, let

    21. Somg, you keep harping on the death of John Britton. Paul Hill was executed for this crime. You need to realize that there are people all over this world who are just not too thrilled about abortion. However, what makes YOU any better when you suggest the execution of Paul Hill’s family? His family didn’t do it. Let it go. I think abortionists are slime, but I don’t agree with the way Paul Hill handled the situation. Abortion is a dangerous business.

    22. Somg, it really doesn’t shock me at all that Paul Hill has his supporters. Ted Bundy had a few, as did Jeffery Dahmer. What do you think about the women who showed up at their trials to express their support? This is America, and people have a right to like and support whatever they want. It doesn’t matter how odd we think it is. I understand that Charles Manson has some fans. What do you want ME to do about it?

    23. Phil,
      The property destruction endorsed by ALF and ELF is hardly benign. People can certainly be killed, like the firefighters responding to put out fires some of these organizations have started, or destruction that spreads and does considerably more damage than was intended. What gives these people any right to destroy property as they see fit? May I do the same?

    24. PIP-
      PETA euthanizes animals because they are proponents of “animal welfare,” meaning they support the humane treatment of animals, but (at face value at least) do not push for “animal rights” which demands no animal should be killed. PETA and the ALF/ELF supporters are at odds with each other – ALF/ELF are almost entirely anarchists, with most directly charging PETA with being the biggest stumbling block to “total liberation” (the complete emancipation of all animals from human domination, and essentially guaranteeing a right to life for them).
      For instance, the National Conference on Organized Resistance, the largest annual anarchist gathering on the East Coast, features ALF/ELF tabling, literature, and seminars. PETA does not attend.
      If any of you are into podcasts, the “Vegan Freak” podcast is one of the best animal rights podcasts out there. They regularly bash PETA for doing things that destroy or contribute to destroying animal life.
      For some people, myself included, property damage and vandalism rank below the intentional destruction of life. I totally understand viewing vadalism and property destruction as wrong, but equating it with murder is, in my mind, erroneous.

    25. Hi Valerie,
      I saw your post about PETA and checked out the website.
      I wonder who is funding the site. If you think the abortion industry has money to smear folks, so do the meat and medical research industries.
      The finding that they euthanise animals is unremarkable. Nearly every shelter public or private with an open admission policy has to euthanize to make space. If you check locally, you will find it is true.
      As for harrassing people at or near churches, that is outrageous.
      However, we have free speech in the US and if people feel harrassed just because a group is protesting in an area near their church, well we as prolifers should know what that is all about. Still targeting people at church is inexcusable.
      As for other items you cited some were pretty bad, but also pretty old. They made big mistakes by funding people who were loose canons. How involved the current folks are, we don

    26. Phil,
      I don’t equate vandalism and property damage with murder. I’m saying these acts violate the law and rights of others and can result in the destruction of human lives, however unintended that may be. I cannot see where these groups, or any of us, have any right to engage in vandalism and property destruction for whatever reason we see fit.
      I also understand that some of these animals “liberated” by these groups have been killed en masse by predators and natural enemies in the animal kingdom. I in no way condone cruelty to animals, but animals aren’t very nice to each other.

    27. The investigation is not about whether pro-lifers might interfere (praying the rosary, while powerful, is hardly assault).
      It is about PP’s illegal actions:
      we took all appropriate precautions to prevent those who oppose women’s access to contraception and abortion from learning about plans to build this facility
      Those who oppose abortion – would be members of the public. PP is admitting they were trying to hide the true nature of the “medical facility” from the public. (Except of course, they didn’t know that PP was going to be the tenant, so they were covering up… nothing?)
      One can’t wantonly break the law and then point a finger at someone else – “But he made me do it!” It doesn’t work for my 8 yo and it doesn’t work in corporate America, either.

    28. Pro-lifers and potential abortion clients have more to fear from the abortion industry than the other way around. The multitude of violent acts and crimes committed by abortion proponents against pro-lifers, mothers who did not want an abortion, and even patients by staff and doctors at abortion facilities does not get nearly the national media attention that the handful acts committed against abortion facilities did. prochoiceviolence.com has documented 7000 of these illegal acts.

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