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The Naperville City Council on Tuesday approved the building of a clinic providing in vitro fertilization and other procedures in the west suburb's downtown area though opponents slammed the planned facility as a "stain" on the city due to its "freezing and destruction of human beings in the earliest stages of life."
The council voted 5-2 in favor of the clinic, to be run by Dr. Randy Morris at the busy intersection of Benton Avenue and Washington Street, Naperville Patch reports.
Morris, who agreed to change the name of the facility from the Naperville Fertility Clinic to the Naperville Family Building Center in exchange for the zoning approval, described his clinic, as offering "needed legal surgical procedures," NBC Chicago reports. Morris already operates out of a smaller facility in Naperville and another in Chicago, but is looking to consolidate his office at the new downtown location, WGN reported.
However, the Pro-Life Action League's Eric Scheidler argued before the council Tuesday that "human life is being cheapened" by the IVF procedures that would be performed at the clinic, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Rev. Thomas Milota of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Naperville stated, "Those embryos that have not been implanted also have value and worth -- those that were determined to be genetically defective, those embryos that were not wanted and discarded," the Tribune reports.
IVF, which involves creating an embryo outside a woman's body then implanting it inside the womb, has become a contentious issue amid the ongoing debate over "personhood" legislation that has been proposed in some 33 states. Such laws would grant legal rights to embryos.
But Morris contends, in response to opposition to his clinic, "We can argue for eternity about when a sphere of divining cells becomes a human, but it is like arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. ... Just because you say you have one interpretation does not make it true. Just ask Galileo," CBS Chicago reports.
Meghan Suman, an area resident, new mother and client of Morris' attended the hearing to support the proposed clinic. She told NBC Chicago that the facility's services was instrumental in helping her start a family.
Although they have thus far been unsuccessful in their attempts to block the building of the downtown Naperville fertility clinic, the Pro-Life Action League vowed Wednesday that they would press on with their opposition.
The group said in a statement that they would continue "to work with Fr. Milota and other local activists on resistance to this clinic as an affront to the value of human life."