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New abortion clinics moving to Rockford, Carbondale

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Yet another abortion clinic is being opened in Carbondale

The Tulsa Women’s Clinic will officially close its doors Thursday, as staff prepare to move the facility to Carbondale, Ill., a nearly eight-hour drive from Tulsa.

The clinic is owned by Dr. Alan Braid, who made headlines last year when he wrote an opinion essay in the Washington Post titled “Why I violated Texas’s extreme abortion ban”.

Braid is also shuttering his San Antonio abortion clinic, the Alamo Women’s Clinic, in preparation of moving that location to Albuquerque, N.M.

“It’s bittersweet. We have always been in the fight for both states, Texas and Oklahoma,” said Andrea Gallegos, executive director of the Tulsa Women’s Clinic. “We stayed open as long as we could.”

The other clinic is owned by Choices Memphis.

* Rockford

A Wisconsin doctor has purchased two clinical buildings in northern Illinois where he plans to offer abortion pills as early as this week at one location and surgical abortions within six months at the other site.

The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights last month. That led abortion providers in Wisconsin to stop the procedures while the courts determine whether the state’s 1849 law banning most abortions stands. Abortion remains legal in Illinois.

Dr. Dennis Christensen says he is part of a group trying to revive abortion services in Rockford, Illinois, in part to accommodate women from Wisconsin. Christensen is an obstetrician-gynecologist who has provided abortions in Madison and Milwaukee and is now mostly retired, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. […]

The only exception to Wisconsin’s abortion ban involves a risk to the mother’s life. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit last month challenging the old law, arguing that 1980s statutes supersede the ban and that it has been dormant so long it should be unenforceable.

* The move has created a bit of a local stir

Anti-abortion activists demonstrated in Rockford on Wednesday. They are concerned about the potential opening of a reproductive health clinic that would offer medication abortion.

Eric Scheidler is with the Pro-Life Action League. He joined demonstrators at an intersection on the east side of Rockford. Many held signs depicting graphic imagery of aborted fetuses. Scheidler says he’s troubled at the prospect of northern Illinois becoming a destination for women seeking abortion care.

“Well, we’re here in Rockford because, you know the state of Illinois becoming an abortion Mecca,’ said Scheidler. “The governor has called on women from all over the United States to come to Illinois for abortions. And that has prompted abortionists all over the region to try to establish abortion facilities here.”

* ABC7

On Thursday, the Planned Parenthood organizations from Illinois and Wisconsin will announce a partnership.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois and Wisconsin are coming together to make sure women have access to the care they need. […]

Later Thursday morning, Planned Parenthood of Illinois and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will host a joint virtual press conference announcing a partnership to meet patient need for abortion care and increase access.

…Adding… Related press release…

Nearly three weeks following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, leaders of the Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) affiliates held a virtual press conference on July 14, to announce an innovative partnership to bring medical professionals to Illinois to meet the growing patient need for abortion care.

The Waukegan PPIL Health Center opened in 2020, near the Wisconsin border, in anticipation of PPWI patients losing access to care. Now that Roe has been overturned, and PPWI has been forced to suspend abortion care, Wisconsin clinicians, nurses and staff are traveling to the Waukegan Health Center to provide care and expand capacity at that health center as well as across Illinois through telehealth.

“Because abortion is safe and legal in Illinois, we are now an oasis for care, as millions of patients are stranded in a vast abortion desert, including Wisconsin residents,” said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “Fortunately, trained medical professionals from Wisconsin are providing the care patients need in Illinois, and Illinois has the space to accommodate this increase of staff and patients. So, while PPWI is temporarily suspending providing abortion care, Wisconsin patients can access services in Illinois. Together, we are working to ensure all of our patients get the care they need.”

“At PPWI, we have anticipated this difficult moment for years and worked with our health care partners at PPIL and others to do what we can to protect and enhance access to safe, non-judgmental abortion care for patients traveling across state lines,” said Tanya Atkinson, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. “Despite the devastating impact of Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban, we are grateful to the dedicated patient services team who are doing everything they can to meet the growing patient demand next door.”

The abortion ban has forced people in Wisconsin to travel far distances for health care at great cost and disruption to their personal lives. Since the Supreme Court’s decision, PPWI’s and PPIL’s call volume has doubled and all abortion patients in Wisconsin are being referred out of state for care. PPIL’s abortion care for Wisconsin residents has increased 10 fold since Roe was overturned.

* This is Dan Proft’s PAC

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe V. Wade, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker envisions Illinois as a state women can turn to for abortions.

The governor asked the Biden administration for more federal funding to support doctors providing telehealth services, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“J.B. Pritzker has an extreme and ghoulish position on abortion,” said Mike Koolidge, spokesman for the political action committee, People Who Play by the Rules. “He supports allowing it to a healthy mother and child all the way up to birth, or even after birth if the parents don’t want their child. That’s infanticide. This is an extreme and disturbing position and polls show it thankfully represents the views of a very small sliver of our state.”


Guttmacher Institute

In Illinois, the following restrictions on abortion were in effect as of June 28, 2022:

    • An abortion may be performed at or after viability only if the patient’s life or health is endangered.

* The LG testified to a US Senate committee

Stratton also highlighted how racial inequalities to abortion access and healthcare could leave lasting impacts on minority communities.

“Recognizing that after a child is born that they do not have access to resources, they are not given what’s needed to address the systemic racism that they are gonna experience throughout their lives, to make sure there’s no help that’s given to these Black and brown families across our country in the wake of these abortion bans and restrictions. It’s contradictory to what so much of what we’ve heard today. This is not about helping. This is only gonna harm and cause immeasurable suffering,” Lt. Gov. Stratton said.

Her full testimony is here.

* WaPo dispatched a reporter out on one of those classic East Coast adventures to fly-over country. In this case, it’s Granite City, which has an abortion clinic

People in Granite City usually don’t focus on the clinic unless they have to. When the subject comes up, there’s nervous laughter. Long pauses. Eventually, someone changes the subject.

When the clinic asked to build a four-foot fence around its property in the fall of 2020, to minimize contact between patients and the protesters, the city council turned down the proposal, without any members voicing an opinion on the matter before they took a vote.

City officials seem to prefer avoiding the topic altogether.

Mayor Michael Parkinson, who was elected last year, did not respond to requests for comment on this story. Nor did nine of Granite City’s 10 city council members.

“That place needs to leave,” said city council member and longtime Granite City resident Bob Pickerell, referring to the abortion clinic, before he excused himself and hung up the phone.

* Also in the Metro East

The Catholic Diocese of Belleville announced Tuesday it will sell the historic mansion that housed its bishops for more than 70 years and use the proceeds primarily for a maternity fund for expectant mothers.

Bishop Michael McGovern is planning to move from the bishop’s residence at 925 Centreville Ave. to the rectory of the Cathedral of St. Peter on Harrison Street in downtown Belleville this summer. […]

Myler noted the decision to give proceeds of the home sale to a maternity fund comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973.

While the proceeds will primarily be used for a maternity fund, money also will be used in “support of Catholic education, youth ministry and evangelization,” according to Myler and the diocese’s news release.

* Meanwhile, in Colorado

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis — a Democrat up for reelection — signed an executive order [last] week that will, essentially, protect Colorado from having to cooperate with other states’ investigations into people seeking or providing abortions.

Polis’ executive order states that Colorado will not help out with any criminal investigations or civil actions that originate in other states that are aimed at curbing access to abortion or punishing those involved in the procedure. Here’s the language of that part of the order, it’s seems rather sweeping:

    “All state agencies and principal departments shall not, unless pursuant to a court order, provide information or data, including patient medical records, patient-level data, or related billing information, or expend time, money, facilities, property, equipment, personnel, or other resources to assist or further any investigation or proceeding initiated in or by another state that seeks to impose criminal or civil liability or professional sanction upon a person or entity for conduct that would be legal in Colorado related to providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining reproductive health care.”

Polis also ordered the state Department of Regulatory Affairs to put measures in place to protect anyone who holds a Colorado professional license from “disciplinary action against a professional license or disqualified from professional licensure” for performing or seeking abortion care in any state.

…Adding… Pritzker campaign…

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 10-year-old survivor of rape in Ohio was forced to travel to Indiana to obtain an abortion. For weeks, Republicans have placed doubt upon the story and failed to acknowledge the destructive nature of abortion restrictions in their own states.

Now, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has indicated that he wants to investigate the doctor who performed the abortion and challenge her medical license. Instead of going after the rapist who attacked an underage girl, today’s GOP is more concerned with prosecuting doctors providing critical care.

Darren Bailey voted against the Reproductive Health Act, which codified the right to choose into state law and removed the law in Illinois that holds doctors criminally liable for performing an abortion. Bailey even served as a co-sponsor of a bill that would repeal the Reproductive Health Act entirely.

“As more and more states implement dangerous anti-abortion legislation, it is essential that Illinois remains an island for reproductive freedom. Voters need an answer from Darren Bailey: does he stand with protecting doctors or with the man who sexually abused a 10-year-old?” said JB for Governor Press Secretary Eliza Glezer. “We deserve to know just how far Bailey is willing to go to restrict women’s rights in Illinois. In Darren Bailey’s Illinois, doctors providing essential health care and the patients they treat could face greater burdens than abusers.”

Bailey has stated that he does not support allowing abortions even in cases of rape or incest. His extreme beliefs are a danger to women and girls in Illinois and in our neighboring states like Indiana and Ohio.

* More…

* Unimaginable abortion stories will become more common. Is American journalism ready?

* Lt. Gov. Stratton tells Senate panel that Illinois needs federal help as ‘island’ for reproductive rights


  1. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:51 am:

    I guess one man’s “abortion Mecca” is another woman’s freedom to do with her body as she chooses.

    Funny how “Mecca” and “freedom” can be so interchangeable.

  2. - vern - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    an old joke whose time has finally come…

  3. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:56 am:

    Attracting businesses, creating jobs.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:58 am:

    If you think that abortion is celebrated as a thing like a religious pilgrimage… you’re probably not a rational person to discuss a woman’s right to choose, and the difficult decision that choice is.

    If its such a gleeful experience, where are the excited folks that see this procedure as such?

    They don’t exist.

  5. - West Side the Best Side - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    People Who Play by the Rules Except When It Comes to Telling the Truth.

  6. - Nuke The Whales - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:12 pm:

    When the Hatch-Eagleton Amendment failed for yet another time in the 1980s, the anti-Roe movement had a difficult time protesting legal abortions without looking as if they were terrorizing women (because well, they were). They were eventually able to create this “love them both” rhetoric. It will be harder and harder for to pretend that one can “love them both.” No amount of liquidated assets in the Diocese of Belleville will make up for the fact that just across the river a patient with an ectopic pregnancy in Missouri now has to wait until said patient is dying in the ICU before they can perform an abortion that was known to be medically necessary well in advance (Ollove, Pew Trusts, June 22, 2022).

    No amount of liquidated assets by the Ecclesiastical Province of Cincinnati into a whatever a maternity fund will cause people to forget the ten year old girl who had to travel to Indiana and, as an arrest and arraignment this Wednesday demonstrates, is a real human who was disparaged by the right as imaginary (Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal, July 13, 2022)

    I’m not sure Rich’s link posting policy, but citations provided.

  7. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:13 pm:

    Sass aside, if you actually care about state jobs and economic growth, stories like this and stories like cannabis companies moving to IL should interest you.

  8. - Jocko - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:32 pm:

    ==the state of Illinois becoming an abortion Mecca==

    Speaking of Mecca, how many members of the Pro-Life Action League are non-Christian? I didn’t see any prayer rugs last time I drove past a protest.

  9. - Original Anon - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    In practice, Illinois law permits abortions until birth. The exception for health is determined by the doctor and usually understood to mean emotional health.

  10. - Original Anon - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    In practice, Illinois law permits abortions until birth. The exception for health is determined by the doctor and usually understood to mean emotional health.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===usually understood to mean emotional health.===


    That’s not accurate

  12. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:37 pm:

    ==supports allowing it to a healthy mother and child all the way up to birth, or even after birth if the parents don’t want their child. That’s infanticide. This is an extreme and disturbing position ==

    Or it would be, if it were remotely true. Conservatives have been repeating this outright lie for a few years now, presumably because “late-term abortion ” wasn’t scary enough. Long past time dems start pushing back on this. They’ve been waiving it off because it’s absurd on its face, but conservatives are gullible yokels and believe whatever they’re told by right-wing media. If dems do not, it’s going to become a common assumption among both conservatives and independents.

  13. - Chicago Blue - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:41 pm:

    Koolidge needs to lay off the Kool-Aid. The people supporting infanticide are those that refuse to fund social services or hold cops that sit in hallways with ballistic shields while unarmed children are slaughtered accountable.

  14. - Homebody - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    The constant stream of lies by the right around topics like this show that they absolutely know that their position is not the majority position. They can’t win on the merits, so they are compelled to lie about what the law says, what the science says, or about the patients themselves.

  15. - A-4 - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:00 pm:

    == That’s not accurate. ==

    It’s in the statute. From the definitions section of the Reproductive Health Act:

    “Health of the patient” means all factors that are relevant to the patient’s health and well-being, including, but not limited to, physical, emotional, psychological, and familial health and age.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===means all factors that are relevant to the patient’s health and well-being, including, but not limited to===

    This is what I felt inaccurate

    ===usually understood to mean emotional health.===

    Usually is doing the heavy lift.

    Keep up.

  17. - walker - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    Koolidge is outright lying. Not unusual for those who have losing arguments.

  18. - very old soil - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:15 pm:

    And why do WaPo reporters think that the Mississippi River is the southern border of Illinois?

  19. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:27 pm:

    “The Catholic Diocese of Belleville announced Tuesday it will sell the historic mansion that housed its bishops”

    It would seem the tens of thousands of children in foster care in Illinois already didn’t quite meet the requirement for the catholic church to do anything additional about it.

    They could have sold their assets at any time to help children who already exist, and chose not to.

  20. - A-4 - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    Willy, not looking to argue with you. Based on the plain language of your post, my impression was you didn’t think emotional health was covered (maybe I’m the only one who read it that way.) That’s why I posted the actual text from the statute — to show people reading this thread that it is.

  21. - Jibba - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:38 pm:

    More from the WaPo article…

    Pastor Buester says “Within our own state, however, the battle continues to rage mightily”…(and) plans to double down on his sidewalk ministry efforts, recruiting more people to gather outside the clinic in the morning.

    Thanks a lot, SCOTUS, for setting all the non-red states up for forever battles with these religious zealots. Social disorder and human suffering are apparently of no concern to them.

  22. - Curious citizen - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:51 pm:

    When you claim that abortion is allowed even after birth, you destroy any credibility you may have. Although you also do that by working for Dan Proft.
    Next we’ll hear about Dems eating babies for breakfast

  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:55 pm:

    ===to show people reading this thread that it is.===

    This is what was typed…

    ===usually understood to mean emotional health.===

    I responded to that… “usually”… questioning such “a thing”.

    I’ll leave my comment(s) as it/they is/are

  24. - LakeCo - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:25 pm:

    Oooo nice job by Team Pritzker, making Bailey seem soft on child rapists. Way to flip the old “soft on crime” script.

  25. - Blue Girl in Red County - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 4:38 pm:

    The misinformation and misdirection by anti-abortion politicians, activists, and organizations demonstrates their unwillingness to own the results of their work to end access to legal abortion. They are unwilling to own the fact that it’s their law that further victimized a ten-year-old rape survivor. They recuse to own the fact that their abortion bans are what is forcing people to travel to Illinois to get the care they need. These things are not caused by pro-choice leaders like Governor Pritzker. The responsibility lies directly with those who want to ban abortion but not be honest about what that means for millions of people across this country.

  26. - Jocko - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 5:56 pm:

    ==their law further victimized a ten-year-old rape survivor==

    It gets worse, now they’re going after the doctor that performed the procedure. I’ve read that women with ectopic pregnancies (1:50) have to wait until they’re deemed at-risk.

  27. - Amalia - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 6:43 pm:

    I’m in no mood for the moralizing haters. the Republican who is going after the doctor who performed the abortion on the ten year old is horrible. Every. Single. Stupid. Thing. the Republican Party is saying and doing about reproductive choices is going to be put on blast. leave women…and doctors…alone.

  28. - Original Anon - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 8:24 pm:

    I’m a former asst atty general who has worked on abortion issues. My statement is correct, both as to the wording of the statute and how it is used in practice. That’s why the house bill from a few years ago did not really expand access to abortions - because the provision for health already did.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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