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Abortion wait periods considered in response to new Planned Parenthood clinic

New Planned Parenthood facility built in southern Illinois. (WICS)
New Planned Parenthood facility built in southern Illinois. (WICS)
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With Planned Parenthood announcing its new 18,000 square foot clinic, some lawmakers are talking about pushing back with more restrictive legislation.

State Representative Darren Bailey said he was 130 miles away when he found out about the new clinic on Facebook Wednesday morning.

"You get the typical people that get on there and say it's fake news, it can't be true," Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Louisville said. "Me and my legislative assistant just loaded up, wanted to come over here and see first hand if it really did exist."

Now he’s considering introducing new legislation to restrict abortion access in Illinois.

"When someone comes in for an abortion, they have to have a sonogram and then possibly institute a 72-hour waiting period, much like it is with the firearms in Illinois," Bailey said.

These are the same types of laws Planned Parenthood wanted to avoid when choosing where to put their new clinic.

The facility is located in Fairview Heights, close to the Missouri border, where women currently face 72-hour waiting periods.

A heartbeat bill was also passed by the governor, but was stopped by a federal judge. That law would have made it illegal to perform abortions after eight weeks.

"This new facility allows patients seeking an abortion to receive that care in a single visit, and for many, in a matter of just hours,” said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. “It centers the patient’s experience and places abortion back where it should be, in the healthcare lens."

Right to Life groups across the state said they'd support the waiting period and sonogram legislation.

"I've known women who have gone to a clinic and decided not to [have an abortion] and now they have their beautiful child and they're very happy,” said Cindy Wuebbels who opposes the clinic opening.

Yet others said this clinic is needed to provide health care for women unable to get it elsewhere.

Planned Parenthood staff told NewsChannel 20 during a tour they estimate the center would be able to perform 24 surgical abortions a day.

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The facility opens in mid-October.

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