Nonprofit group planning pregnancy clinic in Wheeling

A nonprofit group with ties to the Roman Catholic Church wants to open a health clinic for pregnant women in Wheeling.

Aid For Women, a Chicago-based organization associated with the Archdiocese of Chicago, is eyeing vacant space on the 100 block of North Wolf Road for its newest center.

The roughly 3,700-square-foot building last was occupied by a religious ministry called the Holy Spirit Life Learning Center.

Aid For Women has a contract to purchase the building, village documents indicate.

According to its website, Aid For Women helps thousands of women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. It offers women "emotional, practical and spiritual support" as well as pregnancy tests, ultrasound exams and professional referrals.

All of its services are free.

Aid For Women has pregnancy care centers in Chicago, Des Plaines, Waukegan, Flossmoor and Cicero, as well as maternity homes in Des Plaines and Chicago.

The Wheeling facility would be a pregnancy care center.

"We are excited about the project," Susan Barrett, the group's executive director, told Wheeling's plan commission during a presentation Wednesday night.

Three employees are expected to work at the facility, Barrett said. It would operate on weekdays with occasional Saturday hours, she said.

To operate in Wheeling, the group needs a special use permit because the property is zoned for commercial and residential developments, not health clinics.

The group appeared before the plan commission, which advises the village board, to request that permit. After a brief discussion, the commission unanimously recommended the board approve the plan.

Gerald Riles was among the commissioners who praised the group's work.

"I think what you're offering, not only to the community but for young women in need of support, is very commendable," Riles said.

A Wheeling resident spoke in favor of the proposal, too.

The village board is scheduled to review the plan Sept. 20, Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said.

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  A nonprofit group wants to open a health clinic for pregnant women in vacant space on Wolf Road in Wheeling. Mark Welsh/
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