Illinois pro-life clinic to offer women
alternative to Planned Parenthood
The Waterleaf clinic being blessed by Fr. Thomas Milota
Pro-life advocates in Aurora, Illinois are planning to open a women’s
center in a strip mall a block away from a Planned Parenthood clinic to
counsel women who have had abortions and to help pregnant women
continue their pregnancies and raise their children.
The Waterleaf Women’s Center was dedicated on Sunday afternoon by
Catholic clergy and about 75 supporters. It plans to open for business
in several weeks, the Naperville Sun says.
Three local women began searching for office space and raising funds
for the project in January.
Waterleaf board president Kelly Gorsky told the Naperville Sun that the
center’s core mission is to urge pregnant women not to have abortions.
It has set a goal of preventing one abortion per week.
Gorsky said fundraising for the project has gone well. The center will
offer pregnancy tests and free counseling services.
The center’s clients will speak to professional or volunteer counselors
who can refer them to services such as adoption agencies or financial
"We want women to know that there's a whole network of people that can
help," Gorsky continued, adding that the center will work closely with
Project Gabriel, a Catholic-run program that provides needy mothers
with anything from cash assistance to free babysitting.
Waterleaf board member Maura Marcotte, a trained counselor, said
financial hardship is a significant reason women consider abortions.
Providing post-pregnancy support will be a key task.
Cyndi Crane, a Waterleaf board member who will work as a full time
counselor, said the center will give clients information about the
risks of abortion but will never try to frighten or intimidate clients.
"We're a resource center that's here just to present the facts and let
(clients) know what kind of help is available,” she told the Naperville
Crane added that the center will also offer counseling to women who
have had abortions, pledging that she would not abandon a client “no
matter what choice they make.”
According to the Waterleaf Women’s Center website, Crane is president
of the center and a single mother who eighteen years ago chose to give
birth to her daughter, Jillian, despite doctors’ recommendations to
have an abortion.
Board members acknowledged that proximity to the abortion clinic was a
major factor in their work to open the center.
The Planned Parenthood clinic opened amid controversy in 2007.
Opponents charged that the building had been deceptively presented as
an office complex when in fact it was an abortion clinic.
The Waterleaf Women’s Center website is at http://www.waterleafwc.org
Date: September 2, 2009
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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in
Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state
coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of
Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our
society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political
persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic
backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has
been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the
human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection
for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.