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News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
Fort Pierce, Florida has an intersection—12th and Delaware—so unusual that it became the title of an HBO “documentary.” That corner houses both an abortion clinic and a pro-life pregnancy resource center.
Pro-lifers have gathered in front of A Woman’s World Medical Center, the abortion facility, for several years, trying to steer clients across the street to the Pregnancy Care Center. But they have had limited success and some disagreement over the most effective strategy. So Anne Lotierzo, the director of the Pregnancy Care Center, invited me to conduct a sidewalk counseling seminar in Fort Pierce.
I was met at the airport on May 11 by Lisa Buss, a colleague of Anne’s and administrator at a satellite of the Pregnancy Care Center. We joined a contingent of pro-life activists at the Cracker Barrel (coincidentally my husband Joe’s favorite place to eat) including Jim Thoma, a high school teacher and veteran pro-lifer who hails originally from the western suburbs of Chicago and has prayed and protested outside Planned Parenthood’s mega-center in Aurora on family visits.
I stayed at the home of Dom and Jackie Buccola in Port Lucie. As I always find on these pro-life trips, my hosts were exceptionally gracious and accommodating. After morning Mass, Dom and Jackie drove me to the Juan Diego Pastoral Center for the sidewalk counseling seminar.
A small but committed group attended the seminar and had many questions about various techniques.
For instance, since they have little opportunity to speak to the clinic clients, some of the prolifers have resorted to calling admonitions and advice through the window of the waiting room. I cautioned that this approach would not be particularly useful, though they do claim to have saved a baby in this way.
The subject of graphic images also came up, as it usually does in a discussion of sidewalk counseling. I explained how these pictures can be effective, but should not be carried by any counselor hoping to engage an abortion-bound woman in conversation.
But in a situation like theirs, with limited access to the abortionbound clients, the graphic image of a baby in the womb, contrasted with an abortion picture, and a phone number for help, can be a good way to reach them.
Following the seminar, Anne gave me a guided tour of the Pregnancy Care Center. They happened to have the missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on display in the waiting area, so I had an opportunity to pray a Rosary there for everyone involved in the fight to protect unborn life.
With a few hours to spare before my flight home to Chicago, Dom and Jackie took me to the beach, where a good friend of theirs runs a snack shop.
During our long walk along the beach, I noticed several cordoned off sections protecting the spots where giant sea turtles have buried their eggs. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tracks the turtles, protects their nests and requests that no bright lights be shined on these locations during the two-month incubation.
Isn’t it interesting that it is safer to be a sea turtle egg in Florida than a baby in the womb?
The Obama for President campaign recently released a video they’re calling “Dreams of our Daughters,” a letter to the president from Erin Bilbray-Kohn, who waxes eloquent about the dreams and ambitions of her two daughters, six-year old Daisy and and 10-year old Caroline.
According to Bilbray-Kohn, Daisy and Caroline are disciplined and focused on careers as a dolphin doctor and a military officer.
But apparently they are not disciplined enough to avoid ruining their dreams with an unplanned pregnancy. Recall Barack Obama’s comment during the 2008 campaign that he wouldn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby.”
Bilbray-Kohn’s letter strikes the same chord. [Continue reading ...]
Joe Scheidler speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court following oral arguments in NOW v. Scheidler, Nov. 30, 2005 [Photo by EJS]
For everyone who thought the NOW v. Scheidler RICO case ended with the second U. S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Pro-Life Action League National Director Joe Scheidler on February 28, 2006, here’s an update.
Over the course of the lawsuit, the Pro-Life Action League incurred thousands of dollars of expenses, not counting attorneys’ fees. As the ultimate victors in the case, the League is entitled to recover these costs from the plaintiffs, the National Organization for Women.
Thus, shortly after the case was returned to Chicago’s Federal Court for a final ruling, Judge David Coar removed his nationwide injunction and financial judgment, which originally had mandated that the Pro-Life Action League and Joe Scheidler pay to two abortion clinics the sum of $257,780.76. [Continue reading ...]
From right: League Vice President Ann Scheidler, League National Director Joe Scheidler, and their state representative, John D’Amico [Photo by John Jansen]
Over 75 Chicago area pro-lifers climbed aboard two buses sponsored by the SpeakOut Illinois coalition to head to the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, March 8.
Designated as Life Advocacy Day, these pro-life voters visited their representatives and state senators to urge them to support, and even co-sponsor two pieces of legislation that have the potential to save the lives of women and unborn babies.
The Ultrasound Opportunity Act (HB4085) would require abortion facilities that already have ultrasound equipment to offer the pregnant woman a chance to view an ultrasound image of her unborn child an hour before having an abortion.
The pro-woman argument in favor of the Ultrasound Opportunity Act is that women considering abortion are often under pressure from a boyfriend, husband or parent. They may also feel they are under a time constraint and must make a quick decision. The abortion clinic “counselor” may also be applying pressure, highlighting the challenges she faces in an unexpected pregnancy.
The ultrasound image provides the woman with a simple scientific piece of information that she is entitled to before she makes a permanent decision about her baby. Yet, many legislators are misinformed about the provisions of the proposed law. [Continue reading ...]
Madeline Mann, born at only 26 weeks [Photo by Loyola U Health System]
The smallest and fourth smallest premature babies ever delivered were born and treated at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. Madeline, born in 1989 at 9.9 ounces held the record until Ramaisa stole it in 2004, weighing in a 9.2 ounces.
Both girls are doing extremely well. Madeline is an honor student in college and Ramaisa is an active 7-year-old.
The story of their survival is heartwarming. But for a pro-life activist is it also a dramatic reminder of the humanity of the baby before she is born, and the tragedy of late-term abortion. [Continue reading ...]
Breast cancer awareness and research seems to dominate the news each fall. October is designated as the official breast cancer awareness month, but pink everything—ribbons, shoes, hats, gloves, T-shirts—spills over into the subsequent weeks of Autumn.
Now a new study has been issued by the Institute of Medicine on “Breast Cancer and the Environment: a Life Course Approach.” The interesting thing about this study is that it was expected to come down hard on industrial practices opposed by environmental groups. Instead researchers found that women’s life style choices are the more persistent factor in breast cancer risk.
The study found that substances to which women voluntarily expose themselves are much clearer sources of risk than environmental factors over which they have little or no control. Oral contraceptives made the list, along with cigarettes, alcohol and fattening foods. [Continue reading ...]
Jennie Goodman and Governor Pat Quinn
On Thursday, November 17, Personal PAC will hold its annual fundraising luncheon in Chicago.
Personal PAC is “dedicated to electing pro-choice candidates to state and local offices in Illinois.” Their motto—It’s Pro-Choice or No Choice—is unwittingly revealing. They believe in No Choice for an unborn baby. Nor do they really believe in choice for women.
Personal PAC actively opposes even measures that are beneficial to women such as a 24-hour waiting period before making a choice for abortion, laws mandating informed consent and Illinois’ parental notification law, which remains unenforced 16 years after being enacted. [Continue reading ...]
Joe Scheidler (right) with St. Joseph Right to Life County President Tom Gill [Photo by Ann Scheidler]
On Thursday, October 6, League Director Joe Scheidler gave the keynote address at the 20th anniversary celebration of St. Joseph County Right to Life in South Bend, Indiana. Joe had also been the speaker at the group’s inaugural banquet in March 1992.
Scheidler congratulated Indiana on its decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood, a move that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius immediately objected to, claiming that Indiana had no right to make such a determination. Scheidler assured the crowd that many other states are watching the drama over de-funding Planned Parenthood, with the aim of taking the same action.
Scheidler emphasized the importance of prayer and action in our battle against abortion. As a former Benedictine seminarian, he still adheres to St. Benedict’s motto, Ora et Labora — Pray and Work. “Prayer is essential,” said Scheidler. “But it is not enough. We have to take action to change the culture.” [Continue reading ...]
Joe Scheidler receives the Msgr. John Spreen Warrior Award from Dr. Leonard Rybak of Springfield Right to Life [Photo by Ann Scheidler]
Pro-Life Action League National Director Joe Scheidler was the keynote speaker at the annual Springfield (Illinois) Right to Life banquet Friday, September 23. Scheidler also received the Msgr. John Spreen Warrior Award for his courage in the battle against abortion.
Msgr. Spreen was an outspoken defender of the sanctity of life. During one of his homilies he once played a recording of the “Diary of the Unborn Child.” Some members of the congregation got up and walked out. But Monsignor went ahead and played the recording at each Mass that day, and each time several people walked out.
Springfield Right to Life honors him by presenting three awards each year in his name: The Statesman Award to a pro-life political figure, The Rosebud Award to a behind-the-scenes worker and the Warrior Award to a courageous leader.
Joe and I drove to Springfield early on Friday to spend the day at the Abraham Lincoln Museum prior to the banquet. Springfield Right to Life president Merle King and his wife Betty served as our hosts for lunch and the tour of the museum. The Lincoln Museum is well worth a trip to Springfield and would make a wonderful field trip for students of any age who are fascinated by American history. [Continue reading ...]