'Life-affirming' crisis pregnancy center set to open in Flossmoor
What organizers are calling a “life-affirming alternative” to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Flossmoor that offers abortions is on schedule to open later this month. The new center, affiliated with Chicago-based Aid for Women (“Saving Lives for Forty Years”), will be located on Governors Highway within sight of the Planned Parenthood clinic.
“This will give women a true choice,” Dennis Cortes, who with his wife, Kris, was instrumental in establishing the new center, told the South Cook News.
The couple said they were “deeply saddened” by the opening of the Planned Parenthood clinic in January 2018—an opening so secretive that even the mayor of Flossmoor discovered that the new medical center on Governors Highway offered abortion services just days before Planned Parenthood held a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We had an organizational meeting right in our living room just two or three days after the opening,” said Kris Cortes, who serves on the Aid for Women board. “We started the Southland Coalition for Life, started work on raising money for the pregnancy center, started a prayer movement and developed an education strategy.”
Dennis Cortes, who is on the Illinois Right to Life board, said that it raised the money needed for the center in six months, most of it from individual donors.
“Our grassroots coalition has neither the power of government nor the $1.6 billion dollar annual budget of Planned Parenthood, but we do have the power of a shared belief that every person’s life, every woman facing a difficult pregnancy, and every unborn child has infinite dignity and value," Dennis said.
"We also know that the abortions within Flossmoor are disproportionately affecting minority women and families, as Flossmoor is a diverse community and our surrounding communities are heavily African American and Hispanic," Kris added. “We don't want Illinois and our town of Flossmoor to become an oasis for abortion for women who live in neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws.”
The Corteses and other pro-life Illinoisans are also keeping a wary eye on Springfield, where legislation that allows abortions up to the time of delivery is expected to be introduced, possibly as early as this week. The legislation, which is expected to mirror New York’s new abortion expansion law, could also include provisions that would eliminate parental notification and allow nondoctors to perform abortions, pro-life activists fear.
Aid for Women has five pregnancy care centers and two residential programs in the Chicago area. Kris Cortes said that support offered by the centers includes free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and “providing each client with compassionate counseling to help her develop a plan for life, an earn-while-you-learn program, peer support groups and referrals to community resources.”
A statement on the Aid for Women website said that the new Flossmoor center needs ongoing support for staffing, programs, equipment, office space and an internet campaign to effectively reach women facing unexpected pregnancies.
“We respectfully request your consideration in becoming a founding donor to help us open Aid for Women Flossmoor so that we may empower women in unexpected pregnancies, improve the lives of their families and save the lives of unborn children in the south suburbs of Chicago and northwest Indiana,” the statement said.
To help Aid for Women continue their work in Flossmoor and throughout the Chicago area please go to https://www.helpaidforwomen.org.