PL Clinic Opens Near Planned Parenthood
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|Fri, 09-11-2009 - 11:27am|
AURORA -- A group of local people opposed to abortion will dedicate a new clinic on Aurora's far East Side Sunday, one they're billing as "an alternative to Planned Parenthood."
Waterleaf Women's Center will be located at 2849 E. New York St., near the Planned Parenthood clinic at 3051 E. New York.
It was organized by three local families -- two from Naperville and one from Aurora -- in partnership with Women's Choice Services. The idea, according to board President Kathy Gorsky of Naperville, is to give pregnant women an alternative to abortion.
"We want women to know that there is not only one option there for them," Gorsky said. "We want to head off women before they make a decision that will affect the rest of their lives."
Waterleaf will offer free pregnancy testing, counseling, adoption information and assistance for families raising newborns. Gorsky said the center is tied in with the Catholic Diocese of Joliet's Project Gabriel network, which connects them to churches throughout the area, offering help to those wanting to keep their children.
And the clinic works with adoption agencies, offering referrals and support for those who choose that path. The clinic staff includes Chief Operating Officer Paul Coronado, who will provide bilingual counseling for the area's Hispanic population.
Gorsky said that while Waterleaf is not directly affiliated with Families Against Planned Parenthood, the local group that organizes protests outside the New York Street clinic, those protesters will be directing people to Waterleaf once it opens.
Dueling clinics in Aurora
Anti-abortion women's center to open near Planned Parenthood
"Our initial goal is to save 52 babies our first year," said Cyndi Crane of Aurora, president of Waterleaf.
Planned Parenthood officials had no comment on the new clinic Thursday. Planned Parenthood does offer pregnancy testing and adoption counseling, in addition to contraception and abortion.
On Sunday, the Rev. Thomas Milota, director of the Joliet Diocese's Life Office, will dedicate the new clinic. Gorsky said she expects to open the doors the following week, once city permits come through.
"It's often a criticism of the pro-life movement that we convince people to have their babies, but we don't provide the support they need to keep that baby," Gorsky said. "This is an answer to that criticism."