Judge: Mobile Pregnancy Testing Unit Can Stay In Elgin For Now
CHICAGO (STMW) – A federal judge has ruled that a pregnancy testing service can continue using two northwest suburban parking lots for its mobile ultrasound vehicle for at least the next six months, the Courier-News is reporting.
Federal Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan on Wednesday extended until Aug. 21 a restraining order he issued March 13 allowing The Life Center, which operates as TLC Pregnancy Services, to set up in the parking lots at Evangelical Covenant Church of Elgin and JB’s Pub & Bar in Elgin.
TLC, which has a bricks-and-mortar location in Elgin, is a faith-based, anti-abortion organization which had been offering some free services to pregnant women in the clearly marked mobile vehicle in the two lots middays Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
A lawsuit filed in federal court earlier this month claimed the city zoning restrictions put in place last summer restrict women from getting what it offers. On March 13, Der-Yeghiayan issued an opinion that TLC was likely to succeed on the merits of its case.
The City Council had amended its zoning regulations in June in a way that classified the mobile facility and a number of other mobile operations as a “temporary land use” and limited them to only four uses per year at any one location, by permit.
A statement on behalf of TLC shortly after 1:30 a.m. Thursday states, “Attorneys for TLC and Elgin had reached agreement for extension of the order while the parties considered further legal proceedings or a political solution.”
Later Thursday morning, Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall said he had no comment.
In the statement, attorney Noel Sterett of Mauck & Baker said, “The TLC team is grateful to be back serving the young women of Elgin. We think Elgin has chosen the better path in not pushing to reinstate the barrier it has erected which has kept young women in the dark.”
Attorney John Mauck added: “We hope the current administration is listening to its citizens and the many voices, including a number of current City Council candidates, who have come out in support of TLC and its services to the young women of Elgin.”
At a candidates forum on March 16, the TLC issue led to candidates being asked their stance on abortion.
According to reports from several of those present, candidate Craig Dresang objected to the question and asked its relevance to the race, while his opponent for the 2-year seat, Toby Shaw, said he felt it was important for voters to know in case anyone would decide to seek a higher office beyond councilman.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)