Peoria Proud joins rally for Planned Parenthood clinic

Members of Peoria Proud at a rally to support the Peoria Planned Parenthood Health Center on Sunday, Jan. 22. Photo courtesy of Peoria Proud

Peoria Proud joined a rally to support the Planned Parenthood Peoria Health Center, which was firebombed the previous week.

According to the Peoria Journal-Star, the rally took place on Sunday, Jan. 22, the fiftieth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion access until last summer.

“Peoria Proud is an advocate for reproductive rights, access to care for all people, and the imperative need for every human to have not only access but also competent and affirming care,” said Nicole Livsey, vice-president of communications for the group. “Planned Parenthood is more than an abortion clinic. We’ve appreciated their partnership, collaboration and sponsorship over the years.”

Along with medication abortion, the clinic also offered gender-affirming care that can often be hard to access outside larger cities. Planned Parenthood has also long offered STI testing, including HIV.

“We’ve been in touch with the local team whose been displaced and disbursed to other locations for the time being, and with their statewide media director to ensure that everything we are doing is in step with their messaging and their needs,” Livsey said. The group wasn’t involved in the planning of the rally, but were happy to participate.

The Peoria Planned Parenthood Health Center was vandalized when someone threw a fire accelerant through a window, causing a fire in the building on Sunday, Jan. 15. No one was in the clinic at the time and two firefighters were taken to hospitals for minor injuries.

Kelley Theisen, a representative of Planned Parenthood, told the Journal-Star that the damage was estimated at $1 million and she believed the building would be shuttered for several months. The newspaper said that dozens showed up for the rally.

Planned Parenthood has been directing patients to other clinics. The closes Planned Parenthood clinics to Peoria are in Bloomington and Springfield.

The Peoria Police Department is requesting assistance from the public in locating white pick-up truck with a red driver’s side door.

If you have any information on this case call Peoria Police Detective Brian Terry at (309) 494-8390, tip411 (anonymous), or Crime Stoppers (anonymous) at 673-9000.