Empty parking lot of the Albany abortion clinic in Chicago, last open for business on Oct. 17 [Photo by John Jansen, Oct. 21]
Nearly three months ago the Pro-Life Action League reported the closing of Family Planning Associates’ (FPA) Albany Medical-Surgical Center abortion clinic in Chicago.
October 17 was the last day it was open, and just a few days later, a sign was posted on the door directing people to another FPA abortion facility located in downtown Chicago.
Yet during this same time, the words “Family Planning Associates Medical Group” were removed from the large sign in the facility’s parking lot. (Here is how the sign formerly looked, and here is how it looks now.)
By October 27, callers to Albany were being told that the closing was permanent. But now the Pro-Life Action League has obtained new information revealing that Albany’s owner, Walter Dragosz, is trying to reopen.
“Temporarily Closed for Remodeling”?
On November 2, we discovered that the Family Planning Associates website indicated that the Albany abortion clinic was “temporarily closed for remodeling” — but that doesn’t pass the smell test.
Indeed, Albany did negotiate last July to pay $32,000 to satisfy the $50,000 in outstanding fines assessed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), but as part of the same consent agreement [PDF], Albany also agreed to adhere to a series of deadlines pertaining to construction that would bring the facility up to code as an ambulatory surgical treatment center (ASTC), and they were already way behind schedule. (Their floor plan was supposed to have been submitted by September 4, and by this time, nearly two months later, that still wasn’t done.)
A few days later the Pro-Life Action League obtained documents [PDF] via the Freedom of Information Act that included a letter from Walter Dragosz (Albany’s owner) to IDPH dated October 21 in which he said, “Pregnancy termination services at this facility have been temporarily suspended.”
Also included was a letter to IDPH from notorious abortionist Steve Lichtenberg dated October 20 in which he announced that Family Planning Associates would no longer be managing the Albany facility. Lichtenberg also said that he would be officially resigning as Albany’s medical director on October 21, along with Diana Maracich and Holly Hines, who would be resigning as administrator and supervising nurse, respectively, also on October 21.
And yet the Family Planning Associates website still, as of this writing, says that Albany is “temporarily closed for remodeling.”
Phone Number Now Answered by Competitor
Also interesting is the fact that the Albany phone number (which, as of this writing, is also still listed on the FPA website, even though FPA has pulled out) is now being answered by one of abortionist Vinod Goyal’s employees — that is, one of FPA’s biggest competitors, as Goyal owns four abortion facilities in the Chicago area.
How did the Goyal abortion chain get ahold of Albany’s phone number? The two most likely possibilities are:
- Goyal snatched it up as soon as it was publicly available after Albany relinquished control of it. Or:
- Dragosz (Albany’s owner) is allowing Goyal to use it.
The second explanation seems more probable, especially in light of a prehearing conference held earlier this week in which Albany’s lawyer, Richard Kates, told Administrative Law Judge Camela Gardner that Albany had attempted to forge a relationship with another party — presumably Goyal and company — who would be willing to manage the facility, although those plans ultimately fell through.
As a result, Dragosz remains without any employees. And without employees, he can’t possibly hope to reopen Albany.
Closed Abortion Clinic: A Toxic Asset
Dragosz now finds himself in the desperate situation of finding someone to take over management of his now defunct abortion clinic. But will he?
Think about it: Who would want to take over a run-down, non-code compliant abortion facility with a notorious history of deaths and lawsuits, a long history of regular sidewalk counselors and prayer partners, and is located only a mile from the Pro-Life Action League’s headquarters and just around the corner from a first-rate pro-life pregnancy resource center?
The Albany abortion clinic is a toxic asset. That’s why no one wants to touch it.
And while it appears highly unlikely that Albany will ever reopen, this long-running saga isn’t officially over just yet.
Watch this space for developments.