January 5, 2023

Rockford Zoning Board Rejects Challenge to Abortionist's "Home Business" Clinic

Abortionist Dennis Christensen
screenshot from "Lake of Fire" documentary clip
Abortionist Dennis Christensen, who once owned an abortion clinic in Rockford, IL that was closed for health violations, is attempting to open a new clinic as a "home business" in a Rockford neighborhood. Local residents, assisted by the Thomas More Society, challenged Christensen's attempt before the Rockford Zoning Board of Appeals. On December 20, the board ultimately rejected their challenge, and the facility opened for business on December 27.

Until the Dobbs v. Jackson decision last year, Christensen operated an abortion clinic in Wisconsin. The Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing states to create and enforce abortion laws through the democratic process. This allowed Wisconsin to enforce its 1849 law banning abortion, which prompted Christensen to return to Illinois.

Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen argued that the proposed business violates Rockford zoning ordinance and will do grave harm to the community.

“An abortion clinic in the middle of a residential neighborhood would be a problem under any circumstances,” explained Breen, “But it is especially egregious in this situation. This abortionist has already been run out of town previously, having had his facility shut down over ten years ago by the Illinois Department of Health, because of the risks he posed to the safety and health of area women. The residents of Rockford didn’t want him practicing in their town then and they down want him selling abortions in their neighborhood now.”

“Abortion clinics are known for bringing disturbances, loud protests and counterprotests, as well as decreases in nearby property values and significant traffic impacts,” Breen added. “Opening such a facility in a residential area not zoned for commercial use would significantly impede residents’ ability to live quiet, peaceful lives. The proposed use for this property should be independently reviewed because of its unique characteristics, traffic impacts, and effects on the surrounding community.”

Breen's prediction came true on Dec 27, the day that the clinic opened for business. Pro-life protestors stood on the sidewalk nearby holding signs when a pro-abortion woman exited her vehicle to approach the protestors and physically attack them. Authorities later arrested the woman at her home on charges of battery.

The Rockford Zoning Board of Appeals ruled that the Thomas More Society and the residents who filed complaints had no legal standing to challenge their zoning determination. The board unanimously came to this conclusion on the basis that they did not live close enough to the clinic to be affected by its presence.

The board also unanimously voted that the building could be used as an abortion business under a 40-year-old special permit allowing a home medical office there.

Christensen's "home business" at 611 Auburn St in Rockford offers abortion pills. He is working with pro-abortion activists to open a surgical abortion clinic at 4236 Maray Drive in Rockford.