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Aurora residents continue to blast officials
By Amy Boerema | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/24/2007 12:28 AM

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Abortion opponents are just as angry as ever about the opening of a controversial Planned Parenthood on Aurora's far east side.

And they didn't hesitate Tuesday to continue a tongue-lashing of city officials that began at the last council meeting on Oct. 9.

The clinic, at New York Street and Oakhurst Drive, has been open for three weeks.

After a city review showed no legal basis for denying it an occupancy permit, despite criticism the clinic had misrepresented itself in applications, Mayor Tom Weisner said he had to allow it to open.

Like last time, public comment at the meeting was limited to two hours, and residents who weren't able to speak then started out.

Many people reiterated they felt betrayed by the mayor. They said there still were many unanswered questions about the process.

"My big question continues to be why," Ann Canning said. "My biggest why is why aren't more of you upset about this? We sit here and look at you ... you seem totally bored. I feel insignificant when I stand up here speaking to you. The fact is we don't want Planned Parenthood here. They came here deceptively. They need to be shut down. Period."

Many also urged aldermen to pass a parental notification ordinance.

"We have a grave obligation to protect our families in the Aurora community," resident Jane Fonner said. "Family is the foundation of our society."

Secrets and lies destroy families, Rebecca Christensen said.

"If we want a healthy society that encourages healthy families, let's not take the lazy way out," she said.

A few people spoke out against such a proposal.

"It's bad public policy," Bonnie Grabenhofer said. "The data overwhelmingly shows parental notification laws don't work and they endanger teens."

Other people criticized the mayor for giving an emotional speech at the end of the last meeting, in which he asked people to not judge him.

"You're right; we shouldn't judge you, and we apologize," student Sean Grismer said. "But you will have to go before God one day and that's the real judgment."

Resident John Zahm blasted the mayor for allowing the clinic to open, as well as other issues, and urged people to elect better officials.