Rockford Targeted by Abortion Providers
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 14, 2022
ROCKFORD—Its location near the Wisconsin border has put Rockford on the map as a coveted spot for the abortion business. 
Recent property records indicate that proponents of abortion are eager to take advantage of abortion seekers from Wisconsin as well as northern Illinois. 
With the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe vs. Wade, Wisconsin abortion providers stopped giving abortions in late June.  And just that quick, word reached the Diocese of Rockford that properties had been purchased in Rockford to put abortuaries back in business.
An article in the July 12 edition of the Rockford Register Star identified a newly-formed Rockford Family Planning Foundation led by a Madison, Wis., woman. Its purpose is to open a “Rockford Family Planning Center” at 4236 Maray Drive, a former animal emergency clinic. Pro-lifers gathered on Friday, July 8, to protest that effort. 
Madison-area Dr. Dennis Christensen, who provided abortions for years at the former Turner School after the death in 2004 of Rockford’s first abortionist, Dr. Richard Ragsdale, has purchased the animal clinic. 
Dr. Christensen’s performed a full range of abortion services in the former school owned by Wayne Webster until 2010. The abortuary closed in 2012 after being fined for unsanitary conditions by the Illinois Department of Public Health. 
The newly formed foundation plans to lease the Maray Drive building from Dr. Christensen with plans to offer to surgical abortions among other services.
Additionally, Dr. Christensen has purchased a former chiropractic clinic in an otherwise-residential area of Auburn Street in Rockford and plans to oversee abortion services (counseling and dispensing of abortion pills) there. 
Some 60 pro-lifers gathered at the Auburn St. location with signs and prayer on July 1. 
At press time, the Auburn St. building remains condemned because of an “open sewer,” described as a minor code violation that could be repaired, according to the Register Star article. That article also reports that city officials are checking if the planned use of that building complies with provisions of a special use permit granted to the former business in the early 1980s.
Upon learning of the proposed uses for these properties, Bishop David Malloy issued a statement July 7 calling for Catholics and “people of good will throughout the Diocese of Rockford to renew their commitment to the sanctity of human life at all stages.” (See full statement at end of this story)
“We must take a public stand for love of Jesus and for the lives of children by showing the truth to our city that abortion is a crime against God and children,” says Kevin Rilott of the Rockford Family Initiative, which has organized protests in front of two buildings recently purchased with abortion in mind and also publicized a “Face the Truth” protest that was scheduled to take place at three Rockford locations on July 13.
Therese Stahl, director of the Life and Evangelization Office for the Rockford Diocese, spoke on the pro-life response to the plans for abortion in Rockford. 
“Christ loves both mother and child, and as Catholics we must love and care for both lives as well. While we vigorously oppose the taking of the child’s life, we must also vigorously support the mother and father, who are likely in crisis. Our prayer is that mothers and fathers choose to carry their child to full term. If Catholics are a people of life, and we are, we must not forget the material needs of this new family. 
“The Catholic Church’s Walking with Moms in Need initiative has gathered access to physical, medical, and spiritual resources that parents in crisis often lack. Catholics can pass this inventory of resources along to parents in crisis or volunteer at and support these organizations. The faithful can also pray for moms and dads in need along with the preborn and can identify and work to fill resource gaps in our local communities. Standing for both preborn babies and their parents is a strong pro-life stance,” Stahl said.
Bishop David Malloy issues statement on abortion in Rockford
Recent public reports suggest that efforts are being made to open a facility providing abortion services in the city of Rockford. In this moment following the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, I urge all the faithful and people of good will throughout the Diocese of Rockford to renew their commitment to the sanctity of human life at all stages.
Every life, beginning at conception and lasting until death, is sacred. Life is a precious gift in the eyes of God, and both science and reason call upon us to welcome all members of the human family to the table. This is the basis of a society that loves and respects all of its members. For this reason, we work to offer help and encouragement to families, single mothers, and women and children who are in need.
The reintroduction of abortion facilities into the city of Rockford or more widely into northern Illinois would be an offense against human dignity and against our love for the most vulnerable among us. I urge prayer and fasting for God’s guidance in opposing the introduction of such facilities. This is also a moment to contact our city and state public officials to make clear our support for the right to life and our opposition to the taking of the life of the unborn.
This is our opportunity to make our communities places of welcome and respect for human life. We need to stand proudly and seize this moment for the good of all.
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