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More support, more protests for Aurora clinic
Planned Parenthood friends, foes convene at Aurora council
By Amy Boerema | Daily Herald Staff

Protestors and supporters of a Planned Parenthood clinic hold a rally outside of Aurora City Hall Tuesday.


Ed Lee | Staff Photographer

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Published: 9/26/2007 12:17 AM

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It was a tale of two sides at Aurora city hall on Tuesday.

Outside, a couple hundred Planned Parenthood supporters held a rally urging aldermen to allow the city's far-east-side clinic to open.

Inside council chambers, those who spoke out during public comment on the non-agenda issue overwhelmingly opposed the clinic.

A federal judge last week ruled the controversial center, which will offer abortion services in addition to many other services, cannot open until the city's outside review of its permit process is complete.

An end to that review could come Friday. Its results may determine whether the center can open next week.

Outside city hall Tuesday, clinic supporters sported bright pink T-shirts that read, "This family supports Planned Parenthood."

A homemade banner stated, "Every human has the right to choose what's right for them."

The group stood along Downer Place, chanting, "Keep it legal! Keep it safe!"

It got dozens of honks of support from drivers, and responded with cheers each time.

The momentum is shifting, said Steve Trombley, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, with the silent majority now choosing to speak up.

Vicki Roskens, who brought her family from Woodstock, said she wanted to help preserve the freedom and access to health care for her four children.

"I'm here to support Planned Parenthood and to teach my children how to be good activists," she said.

A much smaller group of clinic opponents stood next to supporters. Their signs read, "Choose life" and "Planned Parenthood is murder."

Inside council chambers, their presence was much larger.

Like the last meeting, aldermen limited comment to three hours, with the meeting ending around 11 p.m.

Not all the roughly 180 people who signed up to speak were able to. But the majority who did blasted the clinic, calling its techniques illegal and deceptive.

By ignoring the residents and the city's own review and going into court seeking relief, Planned Parenthood showed it had no respect for anyone, Nancy Rivas of Aurora said.

"It is now crystal clear they had zero good intentions," she said.