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Doctor who ran former abortion clinic in Milwaukee opens new center in Illinois

The Rockford abortion clinic currently provides women, who are up to 11 weeks pregnant, the option to terminate their pregnancy.
Posted at 5:51 PM, Jan 16, 2023

ROCKFORD, IL. — After a 10-year hiatus, Meg Larkin says she's back to helping women in their most vulnerable time of need.

"I get to be the person someone calls and says can you help me and I get to say yes," said Larkin.

During the first week of the new year, Larkin and Dr. Dennis Christensen opened the Rockford Family Planning Center in Rockford, Illinois. The abortion clinic currently provides women, who are up to 11 weeks pregnant, the option to terminate their pregnancy.

"We've only been open for about two weeks, and we have had people from out of state as well as people from Illinois," said Larkin, the center's administrator.

But, the new clinic faced an uphill battle. In an open letter to the city's planning and zoning office posted to the anti-abortion group, Rockford Family Initiative's, website, they wrote, "This neighborhood will be changed for the worse if this abortion mill continues to operate."

"​We've had almost daily protesters, and they've had numerous rallies," said Larkin.

Larkin says Dr. Christensen called her after the United States Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade last summer. After the ruling, Wisconsin immediately reverted to its 1849 law banning abortions. In Illinois, it remained legal.

"He said, 'would you be willing to come out of retirement and help me open a clinic in Rockford?' And I said, sign me up," said Larkin.

Before opening the center, Christensen ran a former abortion clinic in Milwaukee along Farwell, which closed just months after the court's decision.

"He said, 'I've been doing this work for the last 50 years' and he said 'I'm not about to stop now when people need it the most,'" said Larkin.

Larkin believes the center's proximity to Wisconsin will make it easier for people traveling from out of state to get services.

"We have same-day of everything here. So they don't have to do more than one visit," said Larkin. "It needs to be safe, and it needs to be accessible."

An additional surgical clinic is in the works with an anticipated spring opening.

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