Guest Column

Illinois residents fight back after Indiana abortion provider buys property in small border city

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily of Live Action or Live Action News.

On a cold day in February, Illinois land surveyor Ted Hartke received a call from a realtor he had assisted with on real estate transactions many times before. But on this particular occasion, the realtor described a project to Hartke which gave him reason to pause. The realtor had presented a project which had a very short timeline, described as a “cash deal.” In a moment of doubt, Hartke blurted out, “I do not do surveys for marijuana stores.” The realtor quickly responded, “This is not a marijuana store.”

Hartke was still not comfortable taking the job. The “ASAP cash deal” transaction sounded like a larger than normal rush-job survey opportunity. Hartke then said to the realtor, “For the record, I’m going to be 100% upfront with you. The last time I did something like this, I was tricked into doing a site which became a marijuana store.” Hartke continued, “There are the four things I refuse to be associated with: Wind farms, solar farms, marijuana stores, and abortion clinics.”

According to Hartke, there was silence on the other line, followed by the realtor saying, “I am going to need to find another surveyor.”

In mid-March, McGhee Investment Group, LLC purchased a property located at 600 North Logan Avenue in Danville, Illinois (pop. 28,787). McGhee Investment Group, LLC, was formed in early February, and lists Ladonna Prince from Indianapolis, Indiana, as their registered agent. McGhee Investment Group, LLC lists Prince’s address as 3607 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana – which is the same address used for Clinic for Women – the abortion facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, which Ladonna Prince administers. The location of the planned abortion facility in Danville is 6 miles west of the Illinois-Indiana border and 85 miles from the abortion facility in Indianapolis.

The property purchased by Ladonna Prince in mid-march in Danville, Illinois (Photo: Mark Lee Dickson)

At its Indianapolis facility, Clinic for Women currently offers chemical abortions (abortion-inducing drugs) up to 10 weeks and surgical abortions up to 13 weeks and 6 days. Last August, the State of Indiana passed a statewide abortion ban, allowing abortions in the cases of rape, incest, and lethal fetal anomalies. Despite this law being on the books, many abortion providers have chosen to continue to provide abortion services due to several judges issuing injunctions against the enforcement of the law. While Indiana’s abortion ban is likely to stand in the end, the laws of the State of Illinois on abortion are far less restrictive – allowing abortions up to the point of viability.

Since the news broke about an abortion facility coming to Danville in early February, discussions have taken place among leaders in the community regarding the passage of an ordinance which would keep abortion out of the city.

On Wednesday, March 22, a Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Interest meeting was held at the Rock Church and on Thursday, March 23, an Interest Luncheon was held with Danville-area pastors and ministry leaders at a local restaurant. Both meetings were well attended with many leaders willing and ready to do their part to keep abortion out of their city. The ordinance, drafted by the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, would require compliance with federal statutes on abortion-inducing drugs and abortion paraphernalia, which were passed by Congress in 1873. These statutes, found in 18 U.S.C. §§ 1461–62, prohibit the mailing and the receiving of abortion inducing-drugs and abortion paraphernalia.

The border-city abortion battle in Danville has not gone unnoticed by state leaders.

On Monday, March 27, the Illinois House of Representatives Freedom Caucus held a press conference across the street from the planned abortion facility (see featured image). Freedom Caucus members in attendance at the meeting included Representatives Chris Miller (R-Oakland), Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); and Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur). Each leader passionately shared their reasons as to why an abortion facility opening in Danville was not just bad for the community, but bad for the entire state.

Representative Chris Miller shared, “Women from 31 different states had abortions in Illinois last year.” He continued, “We are rapidly becoming the baby-killing capital of the Midwest. We’re just not allowing killing babies. We are now at the place where we are celebrating it.”

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Representative Adam Niemerg shared, “The people of Danville don’t want this abortion clinic in their community.” He continued, “My office has received numerous phone calls from people upset by what’s happening in their own backyard. There seems to be a sinister effort to bring abortion clinics to parts of Illinois that are overwhelmingly pro-life, just to make some sort of point. The far-left has moved far beyond merely making abortion legal. They have become abortion advocates.”

Joining the Freedom Caucus at the press conference were representatives from Illinois Right To Life and Right To Life of East Texas, along with many pro-life residents from throughout the Danville community.

Illinois Right To Life President Mary Kate Zander shared, “This situation that we find ourselves in is the situation that has been created by far-left politicians who are up near Chicago and don’t know anything about this area.”

On Tuesday, March 28, members of Students for Life of America and Right To Life of East Texas gathered outside of Ladonna Prince’s Clinic for Women in Indianapolis in opposition to the abortion facility and her pro-abortion efforts transitioning across the state line.

A “Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn” ordinance is expected to be considered by the Danville City Council in the near future. Currently a total of 65 cities and 2 counties across the United States have passed ordinances keeping abortion out of their jurisdictions in Texas, Nebraska, Ohio, Louisiana, Iowa, and New Mexico.

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