Mary Kate Knorr, executive director of Illinois Right to Life, appeared on Thursday's edition of CBN's Newswatch to discuss the new Planned Parenthood clinic. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel. Check local listings.
Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, announced Wednesday the opening of a new 18,000 square-foot clinic in southern Illinois. The facility described by media outlets as a "mega-clinic" underwent construction in secret for more than a year to avoid protests and other delays.
The new building is located only 13 miles east of Missouri's last remaining abortion clinic in St. Louis.
CBS News reports Planned Parenthood used a shell company to construct the enormous facility, hiding the fact that the former medical office that once occupied the site would become one of the largest abortion clinics in the country.
The abortion provider said it expects to begin accepting patients later in October. More than half of those patients, the organization says, will be from Missouri.
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Because of an aggressive pro-abortion agenda by Illinois lawmakers, abortion access has expanded. Earlier in 2019, the state legislature passed the "Reproductive Health Act," allowing partial-birth abortion and requiring insurance companies to provide abortion coverage. Since the passing of the new legislation and fewer restrictions, women from across the Midwest seeking to have an abortion have converged on Illinois. As a result, Mary Kate Knorr, the executive director of Illinois Right to Life, a pro-life group, calls Illinois "the abortion capital of the Midwest."
The creation of this huge Illinois outpost is part of an ongoing strategy by Planned Parenthood to build massive abortion supercenters. It kicked off in 2010 with the building of a whopping 78,000-square-foot abortion clinic in Houston, Texas.
Primary Focus Not Women's Health Care
Back in August, Planned Parenthood decided to reject $60 million in Title X funds for one reason: So it can continue to refer pregnant women for abortions. As a side note, that money will be sent to health care providers that only focus on women's health care rather than abortion.
Many pro-life activists said Planned Parenthood's move exposed to the country the abortion provider's true colors – that abortion is its top priority, not women's health care.
Former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson said, "They don't really care if they don't receive Title 10 money because their primary focus is not women's health care. Their primary focus is abortion."
Conservative constitutional attorney Jenna Ellis told CBN News, "It shows that their narrative claiming that they mainly provide health care services is just simply false."
Last July, Planned Parenthood ousted its CEO of less than a year, Dr. Leana Wen, who promoted comprehensive health care for women over straight-up abortion advocacy. When she was fired, Wen said it was because she wanted to shift the organization to put women's health first, rather than abortion.
"In the end, I was asked to leave for the same reason I was hired - I was changing the direction of Planned Parenthood," Wen has said.