Timeline of the fight against Planned Parenthood

Huge crowd at Jericho March Finale

As we observe the anniversary of Planned Parenthood opening its doors here in Aurora, we thought it would be helpful to post a timeline of all that has gone on from the time we first caught wind of their plans to the present.

March 1, 2007: First Rumors
A core group of pro-lifers gathers to discuss rumors of an abortion facility opening in Aurora, presumed to be the re-opening of a facility that had closed in November 2006.
April 12, 2007: Community Meeting
The League holds a community meeting with local pro-lifers to discuss an action plan for dealing with abortion returning to Aurora.
May 12, 2007: Picket at Old Abortion Facility.
Aurora pro-lifers picket the site of the former abortion facility with signs reading “Keep Abortion Out of Aurora”.
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June, 2007: Tip From Contractor.
The League receives a tip from a contractor, by way of his parish priest, that he had been recruited to work on a huge building with recovery rooms, surveillance cameras, and bulletproof glass that sounded eerily like an abortion facility.
Headline in the Beacon breaking the Planned Parenthood storyJune 26, 2007: Beacon Breaks the Story
Story in the Aurora Beacon News reveals that the building is destined to be a Planned Parenthood abortuary: the largest abortion facility in the nation.
June 27, 2007: League Vows to Fight Planned Parenthood
The Pro-Life Action League proclaims its committment to stop the new Planned Parenthood in Aurora from opening.
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August 6, 2007: Activists Plan Vigil
80 local activists attend a meeting to plan a 40 day, round-the-clock prayer vigil outside the new Planned Parenthood building.
August 9, 2007: Vigil Begins
The vigil launches on the sidewalk behind the empty facility at 8:00 a.m.
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Rally outside Planned Parenthood on 08-16-2008

August 16, 2007: League Alerts the Community
Hundreds attend a press conference and protest at the Planned Parenthood facility, followed by community meeting at Aurora’s Prisco Center to discuss the new abortion facility and plans to prevent it from opening.
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August 25, 2007: Massive Rally
An enormous protest at the Planned Parenthood facility draws over 1300 area pro-lifers.
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August 28, 2007: Pro-Lifers Pack City Council
Over 400 area residents fill the Aurora City Council Chambers beyond capacity to express their outrage and demand an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s devious entry into Aurora. Mayor Tom Weisner promises a throrough investication.
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September 1, 2007: Youth for Truth Rally
Five hundred teens gather for the “Youth for Truth” rally to protest Planned Parenthood.
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Eric Scheidler and his daughters with a Planned Parenthood signSeptember 6, 2007: Yard Signs
3,000 pro-life yard signs are put up all around the Fox Valley Area reading “Planned Parenthood BAD for Aurora” and “Planned Parenthood BAD for Fox Valley”.
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September 7, 2007: Candlelight Vigil
Several hundred faithful responded to Joliet Bishop Peter Sartain’s call for a pro-life day of prayer by attending an ecumenical candlelight Vigil at Planned Parenthood.
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September 9, 2007: Jericho March Begins
A seven day “Jericho March” around the block occupied by Planned Parenthood, inspired by the famous biblical story in the book of Joshua.
September 4, 2007: Trombley Sends Libelous Letter
Planned Parenthood CEO Steve Trombley sends a letter to the Mayor and City Council of Aurora accusing Joe Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League, as well as local pro-life activists, of being violent criminals. Trombley publishes the same letter as a full page ad in local newspapers with a picture of a bombed out abortion clinic.
[More Info] [Pictures – (PDF)]
September 11, 2007: Return to City Council
Hundreds of pro-lifers appear before the Aurora City Council, this time to respond to Steve Trombley’s lies.
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Pro-lifers march around the block at Planned Parenthood.

September 15, 2007: Jericho March Finale
Over 1,000 pro-lifers came out for the dramatic conclusion of the “Jericho March” which includes a press conference with a statement opposing Planned Parenthood signed by over 120 local clergy.
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September 17, 2007: Planned Parenthood v. Aurora
With Planned Parenthood’s projected opening date of September 18 approaching and the investigation still under way, Planned Parenthood sues the city of Aurora in Federal Court to issue an occupancy permit so they could open on time. Judge Charles Norgle denies their request.
September 18, 2007: Planned Parenthood Does Not Open
Planned Parenthood does not open on September 18 as they had planned. Several hundred pro-lifers come out for an impromptu gathering at the Planned Parenthood site. It is announced that the 40 day vigil will contiune until the final decision is made on whether or not Planned Parenthood will open.
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September 20, 2007: Big Win in Federal Court
Both sides meet back at Federal Court to argue before Judge Charles Norgle. Judge Norgle says that Planned Parenthood’s actions amount to “obfuscation at best” and once again decides that Planned Parenthood will not open until the investigation into their actions is complete.
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September 21, 2007: “Amazing Grace” Dinner
Pro-lifers gather for a celebratory dinner with the theme of “Amazing Grace” in thankfulness for Planned Parenthood’s continued inability to open.
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Pro-lifers petition local government in Aurora.

September 24, 2007: Special Use Permit
Pro-lifers return to the City Council with a bombshell: the Aurora Zoning Ordinance requires a “special use permit” for any “non-profit heath related service” which would require public notice, public hearings, and a super-majority vote in the City Council, none of which Planned Parenthood has obtained.
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September 25, 2007: The League Alerts Aurora
The League mails a postcard to every address in Aurora about “Your new neighbor, Planned Parenthood”, highlighting the truth about Planned Parenthood’s fraud, abortion record, sheltering of child predators, and other facts.
October 1, 2007: Mayor’s Press Conference
Mayor Weisner calls a press conference to announce the result’s of the city’s investigation into Planned Parenthood’s deception. He announces that “three independent investigators” had found no wrongdoing and Planned Parenthood will be issued a permit and allowed to open the following day.
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Police at the opening of Planned Parenthood Aurora

October 2, 2007: Planned Parenthood Opens
Pro-lifers gather early at Planned Parenthood to mourn the opening they had been fighting for two months.
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October 9, 2007: Mayor Called to Account
The City Council hears from pro-lifers for a fourth time, this time denouncing Mayor Weisner’s betrayal of their trust in refusing to conduct a truly thorough and impartial investigation.
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October 11, 2007: Safeway Erects Fence
Under cover of night, Safeway Corporation, the owners of the vacant lot across from Planned Parenthood, erect a chain link fence around their property in an effort to keep sidewalk counselors from standing on the lot in attempts to communicate with girls entering the Planned Parenthood.
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October 20, 2007: First Sidewalk Counseling Seminar
With Planned Parenthood open, the focus of pro-life presence shifts from praying for Planned Parenthood to stay closed to helping the girls seeking their services. With that in mind, Fox Valley Families sponsors Aurora’s first Sidewalk Counseling seminar, led by the League’s Ann Scheidler.
October 23, 2007: Fifth Trip to City Council
Aurora’s pro-life community once again packs City Council chambers urging the Council to pass a “parental notice ordinance” requireing girls under 18 to notify at least one parent before obtaining an abortion. The measure was later passed as a “parental notice resolution” which was sent to the Capitol in Springfield.
[More Info]Pro-lifers picket at the 'We're Here for Life' Rally
October 27, 2007: “We’re Here for Life” Rally
With the theme of “It’s Not Over, We’re Here for Life”, over 1,000 pro-lifers peacefully picket and pray at a rally outside Planned Parenthood for the first time since the building opened. Pro-lifers’ First Amendment Rights are infringed upon by Aurora Police in several ways.
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November 12, 2007: Planned Parenthood Cancels Talk
Planned Parenthood schedules a Q&A event at Waubonsee Community College in nearby Sugar Grove, but cancels once they find out the League had plans to protest their talk.
November 13, 2007: Police Chief Threatens Arrests
The City Council hears pro-lifers’ complaints about their treatment at the rally on October 27. Aurora Police Chief Powell steps in and claims his officers had done nothing wrong. He further claims that they had “been nice” so far, but Police would not hesitate to arrest pro-lifers at future rallies.
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November 17, 2007: Pro-lifer Ordered Not to Pray
Local pro-lifer Roger Earl is stopped by police while walking with his baby daughter on the sidewalk across the street from Planned Parenthood during a pro-life rally. Officers ask Roger what he is doing. When he replies that he is praying, police ask him what he is praying about. Officers then state that if he is praying about the Planned Parenthood clinic he has to cross to the other side of the street to the protest.
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Pro-lifers challenge Planned Parenthood's zoning at the Zoning Board of Appeals

November 28, 2007: Attorneys Bring Zoning Case
The Aurora Zoning Board of Appeals meets to hear the appeal brought by local pro-lifers to the issuance of an occupancy permit to Planned Parenthood, but no determination is reached at that hearing. Over 100 pro-lifers come out, each wearing a red carnation as a symbol of pro-life solidarity.
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December 12, 2007: Zoning Board of Appeals Meets Again
Attorneys from the Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center appear before the ZBA again. Once again, a standing room only crowd of pro-lifers attends. January 7 is set as the date for the final hearing.
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December 15, 2007: Second Regular Monthly Protest
Pro-lifers brave snow and cold temperatures to protest Planned Parenthood. Over 200 attend.
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December 22, 2007: League Brings Christmas to Planned Parenthood
Hundreds of pro-lifers from across the Chicagoland area visit several different abortion facilities singing Christmas carols around an empty manger, sybolizing what it would be like if Mary had not chosen life.
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January 7, 2008: Final Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing
At the final hearing of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the board rules that it did not have jurisdiction to hear our complaint since they claim no zoning decisions had been made.
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Pro-lifers picket at January protest

January 19, 2008: Pro-Lifers Stand their Ground
Even in sub-zero temperatures, over 100 pro-lifers attend the monthly protest at Planned Parenthood, which is followed by an “Action Speaks” seminar on pro-life activism.
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February 11, 2008: Zoning Case Filed in State Court
Attorneys Tom Brejcha, Peter Breen, and Jason Craddock file a suit in State Court against the City of Aurora for zoning violations involving the Planned Parenthood facility.
February 16, 2008: Protest at Ground Zero Continues
Once again over 100 pro-lifers brave sub-zero temperatures to protest Planned Parenthood’s presence in Aurora.
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March 26, 2008: Aurora Begs to Settle
Eric Scheidler and other local pro-lifers, who had sued the City of Aurora for violating their First Ammendment rights, appear before Federal Judge Virginia Kendall as the City had requested to settle the suit.
April 18, 2008: Pro-Lifer Arrested for Crossing the Street
Faithful sidewalk counselor Connie Betz iss arrested by Aurora police for crossing onto “Planned Parenthood’s side of the street” despite the fact that people jog, walk their dogs, and go to the store on that side of the road every day.

Faithful volunteers brave the rain to stand up for life

July 19, 2008: Face the Truth Tour Draws Record Crowd
The League’s annual “Face the Truth” Tour spends its last day in the Aurora area and, despite rain most of the day, draws the largest crowds of the entire tour.
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September 20, 2008: Protest Continues
Over one hundred fifty strong, Fox Valley’s pro-life community protests Planned Parenthood on the sidewalk along New York St. with signs rangning from “Moms for Life” to “Planned Parenthood Lies to You”
September 24, 2008: “40 Days for Life” Kickoff
More than 250 pro-lifers gather on the sidewalk behind Planned Parenthood, exactly where the protest began over a year earlier, to begin a second 40 day prayer vigil.
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October 2, 2008: Anniversary Prayer Service
The one year anniversary of Planned Parenthood opening its doors brought over 50 pro-life faithful to a prayer service at the vigil site behind the facility.
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