Mobile Ultrasound Provider Files Lawsuit after Being Forced to Shut Down

If a pro-life pregnancy resource center operates a mobile ultrasound unit on privately owned land, you wouldn’t think there would be much that local authorities could do to stop it.

But you’d be wrong.

For nearly two years, TLC Pregnancy Services in Elgin, Illinois has provided teenage girls and women free pregnancy information, testing, and ultrasounds through its mobile ultrasound facility.

TLC has done so through the cooperation of an Evangelical Covenant Church as well as a pub, both of which have allowed their mobile ultrasound facility to park in their parking lots—again, it bears repeating, their private parking lots.  In less than two years, nearly 200 women visited the facility and received services.

But no women have been allowed to received services from the mobile ultrasound facility since last summer—because the city shut it down:

Last summer, Elgin moved to shut down TLC’s mobile facility for the rest of the year at both locations. Records indicate that, in August, Police Chief Jeffrey Swoboda, at the request of City Councilmember Anna Moeller, boarded the mobile facility while parked at JB’s and ordered TLC’s ultrasound technician, Jane DeFily, to “cease and desist” her activity.  The officer informed DeFily that a certain city councilperson had driven by and described the mobile facility as an “eyesore.”

Upon further investigation, TLC discovered that the city council had just amended its zoning code in June in a way that classified the mobile facility as a “temporary land use” limited to only four uses per year at each location.  When TLC attempted to renew its permit, it was told that no further permits would be issued in 2012.

Yesterday, TLC filed a federal lawsuit yesterday against the city of Elgin over its bogus new zoning codes that have effectively shut down their mobile ultrasound facility.

All Politics Is Local—So It Matters If Local Politicians Are Pro-Life

Many pro-lifers believe it’s critically important to vote pro-life when it comes to candidates running for “big” offices in national and state elections, but don’t necessarily believe a candidate’s stance on abortion matters much when it comes to “small” offices in local elections.

Let the outrageous — and indefensible — decision on the part of the Elgin City Council to shut down a mobile ultrasound facility be a lesson to us all: In local elections, it very definitely matters where a candidate stands on abortion.

If Elgin had had a city council full of members who were robustly pro-life, TLC would have continued, undisturbed, to serve women and girls in need to this day.

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