Aurora Candidates on Abortion and Planned Parenthood

Aurora City Hall signWhen Planned Parenthood opened the largest abortion facility in the country back in 2007, we Aurorans learned that hard way that abortion isn’t just a political issue on the national or state level. In 2007, abortion became a local issue here, with packed City Council meetings that led to a fraud investigation, two lawsuits and continued controversy in our community. The people in City Hall serving as Aldermen and mayor are of momentous importance. With the right people in office—supporters of both the sanctity of life and the rule of law—Planned Parenthood would never have opened. With that in mind, I want to share with you what we’ve learned about the positions of the candidates in tomorrow’s municipal election on abortion and Planned Parenthood. Several weeks ago, we sent out a survey asking the candidates to state their positions on abortion, Planned Parenthood’s mission, and the legal status of their abortion center in Aurora. The survey findings—plus other relevant information about the candidates—can be found below. No responses were received from the races in Wards 2, 3, 7 or 10. Full responses from all candidates who replied can be found right here [PDF]. NOTE: None of the information provided below should be construed as endorsing or disapproving any particular candidate.

Aurora Candidates on Pro-Life and Planned Parenthood

Municipal Election, February 26, 2013


Tom Weisner

  • No response to survey.
  • Granted Planned Parenthood an occupancy permit in 2007, breaking promise to share results of fraud investigation with City Council first.


Rick Lawrence

  • Opposes abortion without restrictions.
  • Opposes Planned Parenthood’s mission.
  • Believes Planned Parenthood has no legal right to operate at their Aurora location.

Robert J. O’Connor

  • No response to survey.


Jay Leonardi Mr. Leonardi asked to be e-mailed a new copy of the survey, which he was, but never returned it. The information below is based on his views as expressed on the phone.

  • Pro-choice in cases of rape and incest, otherwise pro-life.
  • No response on Planned Parenthood’s mission.
  • No response on Planned Parenthood’s legal status in Aurora.

Chuck Norris

  • Believes abortion takes a human life, but that women should have “access to immediate care” in cases of rape. Would “vote towards pro-life” if abortion were to be decided on the local level.
  • No response on Planned Parenthood’s mission.
  • No response on Planned Parenthood’s legal status in Aurora.

Mavis A. Bates

  • No response to survey.
  • “This Family Supports Planned Parenthood” sign posted at house on Harrison street in 2007.

Mike “Leo” Leonardi

  • No response to survey.

William “Bill” Donnell

  • No response to survey.
  • Chairman of the Planning Commission when Planned Parenthood was approved under the name Gemini Office Development.

Duanne Kleckner

  • No response to survey.


Matt Harrington

  • Ambiguous position on abortion. Would promote adoption, except in cases of rape, incest or threat to mother’s health.
  • No strong opinion on Planned Parenthood’s mission.
  • Opposes Planned Parenthood presence in Aurora, but believes they have a legal right to operate at their location.

Bob Shelton

  • No response to survey.

Marge Linnane

  • No response to survey.

Michael J. Ochs

  • No response to survey.

Edward J. Bugg

  • No response to survey.
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