The murder of children in the womb in Aurora, Illinois, has been stayed, for the moment.  Planned Parenthood, the company that encourages and equips teenagers to fornicate so that it will have a steady stream of babies to kill (over a quarter of a million per year), began building a 22,000-square-foot, $7.5 million abattoir last fall.  In secret.

Pulling permits under the name of Gemini Office Development LLC, Planned Parenthood built the abortuary and concealed its purpose not only from the citizens of Aurora but from the tradesmen without whose skill and labor the building would not have been completed.  Why?  Because four years ago, in Austin, Texas, concrete contractor Christopher Danze brought to a halt the construction of a Planned Parenthood abortuary by rallying his fellow tradesmen and securing their pledges not to work on the project.  After slowing the project for several months and costing Planned Parenthood dearly in overruns, the boycott collapsed.  City officials bribed competitor Rainbow Concrete with an offer to make Superfund citations from an earlier project disappear.  Rainbow made the pour in the middle of the night but went out of business not long after.  To Danze, it was divine justice.

To Planned Parenthood, the ordeal that Danze put them through in Austin was a learning experience, one they had no desire to repeat once construction on their bigger, more expensive slaughterhouse in Aurora began.  Identifying the building as a medical complex and entering “unknown” where the construction permit asks who the tenant would be, Planned Parenthood very nearly flew in under the radar.  Indeed, when their deceit was exposed in July, Planned Parenthood’s CEO/Chicago Area, Steve Trombley, remarked, “Frankly, I’m surprised we were able to keep it a secret for so long.”

Planned Parenthood’s scheme was foiled by a crew member when he shared his suspicions with his parish priest.  The priest advised the man to contact Joe Scheidler at the Pro-Life Action League.  Joe’s son, Eric, who lives in Aurora, quickly enlisted the whole region in an effort to keep the abortuary from opening by forming Fox Families Against Planned Parenthood.  Beginning on August 9, members of this grassroots organization staged a round-the-clock, 40-day prayer vigil scheduled to end on September 18—opening day for the clinic.

Were these prayers answered?  The clinic did not open on September 18.  When the Aurora aldermen learned that Planned Parenthood had not been straight with them, they withheld issuing an occupancy permit and asked Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti to investigate Gemini and Planned Parenthood for possible criminal conduct.  A local zoning attorney, Vince Tessitore, fed Barsanti whatever he could to keep the clinic from opening, including information that Planned Parenthood failed to file for a special-use permit and hold public hearings in accordance with city codes.  The Thomas More Society of Chicago did its part to delay the opening with a libel lawsuit against Steve Trombley, who characterized vigil participants as having a “well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property.”  Trombley was doubtless referring to years-old charges brought by the National Organization for Women (NOW) against the Pro-Life Action League, charges of which the League was found not guilty by the U.S. Supreme Court in February 2006.  Despite these efforts, however, the abortuary did open on October 2, after investigators concluded that Planned Parenthood had not technically violated any state laws or city ordinances.

Critics of these efforts, even among those who recognize the sanctity of life, point out that, as in this case, they usually fail.  So be it.  While these legal and political battles failed to stop the opening of the abortuary, Scheidler and son cannot regard their works as a failure.  Like Danze did, they have embarrassed Planned Parenthood in the national media, forced them to spend their money, prevented the killing of some babies in the Fox River Valley, and given the rest of us inspiration.  They remind us that the most important work fighting the culture of death is that which is done in our own communities and homes.  They also remind us that the Christian is concerned not with the effect of his actions but that they are performed well and out of love of God.  Saving children from execution, one at a time, and one day at a time, is work performed well.