ILLINOIS (WTVO) — Over the last year, Planned Parenthood has been secretly building one of the largest abortion clinics in the country in southern Illinois.
The organization announced the new 18,000-square-foot clinic on Wednesday, built using the shell of a former medical office.
Colleen McNicholas, the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, told CBS News that the facility has been under construction since August 2018, in secret to avoid protesters and delays.
The facility is located 13 miles from the last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri.
According to Mary Kate Knorr, the executive director of Illinois Right to Life, the lack of abortion restrictions in Illinois under the “Reproductive Health Act” has drawn women from across the Midwest to the state, turning it into what Knorr calls “the abortion capital of the Midwest.”
At the Hope Clinic in Granite City, which is 10 miles from St. Louis, deputy director Alison Dreith says 55% of patients seeking abortions there are from Missouri.
Since 2017, the number of women crossing the border into Illinois for an abortion has doubled, according to data from the Associated Press.
McNicholas said the clinic should be able to take patients later this month.
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