FLOSSMOOR - The Planned Parenthood that just opened doors in a Chicago southern suburb is not welcomed, local residents and business owners are saying. An effort to publicly respond to a $3 million-renovated facility that will offer abortions on site is starting.
"Planned Parenthood's clandestine move into Flossmoor under the guise of bringing needed healthcare services to our communities is just another indication of tone deafness," education activist Ceasar LeFlores told Illinois Review. "Abortion is not healthcare, and we in the faith community are appalled that state and local governments continue to direct much needed funds towards Planned Parenthood."
Sources says that no one was aware - including village officials - the 10,000 square foot building on Governor's Highway would be a Planned Parenthood until occupancy and sign permits were applied for at the city hall just days before its opening.
"Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger had the intention of wiping out those she thought inferior," Dr. Eric Wallace, a pastor that lives in Flossmoor near the new clinic, said. "Why place the center in a community with a large black population? It's pretty clear why they picked Flossmoor. And in addition, it's a location is easily accessible to two nearby high schools."
Flossmoor, a town of less than 10,000 residents, has a racial makeup of 46.4% White, 47.8% African-American, 3.2% Hispanic and less of other races. Flossmoor's income per capita is 67% higher than the national average and the median household income - $110,000 annually - is 88% higher.
But Flossmoor is surrounded by some of Illinois' poorest minority communities - to the north, Harvey, Markham, and Dixmoor. To the south of Flossmoor, Chicago Heights, Ford Heights and Matteson, also with large minority communities.
Dr. Richard Mantoan started his dental practice in the Flossmoor Professional Building 36 years ago with the expressed mission of serving a mixed population like the one around Flossmoor. His office's parking lot joins to the parking lot of the new Planned Parenthood building.
"They've been working on the building for months, and none of us knew it was going to be a Planned Parenthood. The village was told the new owners were a medical group. We were hoping to cooperate with nearby medical services. There was no public comment. We are very disappointed in how this turned out," Dr. Mantoan said.
The stealth manner in which the clinic was handled was especially painful because Dr. Mantoan leads a local chapter of the national prolife movement. The area's "40 Days for Life" organizes protests against a Planned Parenthood feeder location in Orland Park.
All three mentioned Illinois' new law requiring taxpayers to fund abortions for women on Medicaid and state employees as a key reason why they suspected Planned Parenthood saw this facility and possibly four more in other Illinois locations as a good investment.
"This is just another indication of the tone deaf insensitivity of not only leaders like Governor Rauner, as expressed through his signature on HB 40 that makes state funds available to fund abortions, but also of local leaders who continue to misunderstand the real expressed needs of the communities they are supposed to serve," LeFlore said.
Dr. Wallace agreed. "Because we have a pro-abortion governor, now Illinois has become a magnet for Planned Parenthood," he said.
"The black community in Illinois is especially distrubed that as Planne dParenthood facilities are closing all over the country, our state continues to facilitate the targeting of abortion to black women. Black women make up 6^ of the population, but have over 36% of all abortions," education activist LeFlore said.
"Our goal in response to this outrageous affront to the sanctity of human life will be to mobilize the faith community and educate that community as to why Planned Parenthood's arrival in Flossmoor is not a good thing," he said.