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News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
The pro-life movement scored a huge victory at the Supreme Court today, as the nine justices ruled unanimously in McCullen v. Coakley that Massachusetts’ abortion clinic buffer zone violates the First Amendment.
The court held that this 35-foot buffer zone violates the First Amendment by imposing “serious burdens” on sidewalk counselors’ freedom of speech on public sidewalks.
Reading the opinion [PDF] in the case, it was very encouraging to see the justices make a clear distinction between sidewalk counseling and protesting:
While the Act may allow petitioners to “protest” outside the buffer zones, petitioners are not protestors; they seek not merely to express their opposition to abortion, but to engage in personal, caring, consensual conversations with women about various alternatives. It is thus no answer to say that petitioners can still be seen and heard by women within the buffer zones. If all that the women can see and hear are vociferous opponents of abortion, then the buffer zones have effectively stifled petitioners’ message.
To be sure, the Pro-Life Action League has always been a proponent of both sidewalk counseling and pro-life protesting, but considering how often these two activities are conflated, it’s good to see the Supreme Court acknowledge a clear difference between them. [Continue reading ...]
The recordings of a 911 call and a dispatcher’s ambulance call reveal Planned Parenthood’s diligence—but only when it comes to protecting their business from public scrutiny.
On Saturday, January 18, 2014, an ambulance appeared at the huge Planned Parenthood facility in Aurora, Illinois, during the Pro-Life Action League’s monthly protest there. I caught the incident on camera, as did volunteers with the Live Pro-Life youth group. The recordings were later obtained with help from the Thomas More Society through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The ambulance arrived at approximately 9:40 a.m. Shortly after 10:00 a.m., paramedics exited the main doors with a patient on a gurney and loaded it into the ambulance. They left about 10:10 a.m.
On both the 911 call and on the radio with paramedics, the dispatcher is clearly frustrated at how little information Planned Parenthood has given her about the status of their patient. The Planned Parenthood employee on the phone even seems reluctant to give the name of the business she’s calling from: [Continue reading ...]
In the Catholic liturgical calendar, the Gospel for today is the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).
One thing I find amazing about this Gospel passage is that it almost didn’t make it into the Bible. In fact, before the canon of Scripture was finalized in the late 4th century, some copies of St. John’s Gospel didn’t include this story.
St. Augustine tells us (cf. De coniugiis adulterinis, 2, 6) that some early Christians were afraid of keeping this story in John’s Gospel since it showed Jesus as being so merciful that they thought it might lead people to think that the reality of sin wasn’t as serious as the Church made it out to be.
Apparently, the Holy Spirit wasn’t concerned about this, since He made sure the story was kept in there.
The story of the woman caught in adultery was the inspiration behind a post-abortion healing brochure [PDF] the Pro-Life Action League designed a few years ago. On the front is an image of Jesus and the woman, and the words “Neither do I condemn you.” On the back is information on where to find help dealing with post-abortion aftermath, and the message, “Please give this card to someone who needs it.” [Continue reading ...]
Julia, a member of Christian Liberty Academy’s Live Pro-Life group, shows the goody bags the group gives out, March 15 [Photo by Eric Scheidler]
I’m happy to report that since the beginning of this month, five babies have been saved from abortion at the huge Planned Parenthood’s mega-center in Aurora, Illinois, where the Pro-Life Action League is especially active. This is especially joyous news considering how difficult it is to speak to clients at this location, which was deliberately designed to hinder pro-life outreach.
The first came March 1 during a kickoff rally for 40 Days for Life. Sidewalk counselors Karen N. reports that a couple came out from Planned Parenthood and approached her as they were driving away. The woman nodded when Karen asked her if she was pregnant, and nodded again when she asked whether they’d changed their minds. Karen gave them information on the nearby Waterleaf pregnancy center. The man said they had to get a bite first—further indication they had had an abortion scheduled, since clients are instructed not to eat the morning before.
On Ash Wednesday, March 5, a car pulled out of the Planned Parenthood parking lot and pulled up beside sidewalk counselor Susan S. The passenger, a young woman, told Susan she had decided to keep her baby. Only minutes later, another car pulled up to Susan S. and counselor Randy M. and a beaming young woman told them about a previously unknown save: her daughter would soon turn one year old. [Continue reading ...]
One week from tomorrow, 40 Days for Life prayer vigils will be starting in over 250 cities and towns all over the United States and throughout the world.
If you’re planning to take part in one of these 40 Days vigils — and you should! — the Pro-Life Action League has a great prayer book to share with you.
Praying outside an abortion facility is one of the most important pro-life activities we can do. But sometimes it’s a challenge.
Not only can it be tough to fill your vigil time with meaningful prayer, but it’s sometimes easy to get distracted. That’s why the Pro-Life Action League has put together the Life Witness Prayer Book, a tool to help make prayer time outside abortion facilities as constructive and focused as possible. [Continue reading ...]
An ambulance raced up to the door of the huge Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Aurora, Illinois, this past Saturday as Pro-Life Action League staff and volunteers conducted a protest nearby. Protests have been held at the site monthly since it opened in fall of 2007, alongside a daily prayer and sidewalk counseling presence.
The pro-life group began to pray for the whomever the ambulance had arrived for. After about 15 minutes, paramedics emerged from the front door of the building pushing a gurney with a body on it, and then took off—probably transporting the woman to Rush-Copley Hospital, a few miles away.
It was unusual for the paramedics to exit from the front door. They usually use a back door. And typically Planned Parenthood staff accompany the gurney, holding a sheet in front of it to block the view of pro-life witnesses. What the absence of these measures means is anyone’s guess.
Chris Iverson, an adult volunteer with Christian Liberty Academy’s Live Pro-Life group, captured the event on video, providing yet more documentary evidence that abortion clinics are not safe for women.
Sadly, this is all-too-frequent an occurrence at abortion clinics across the United States. Ambulances have been sighted several times at the Aurora clinic, purported to be a state-of-the-art facility. None of Planned Parenthood’s Illinois abortion clinics is subject to state inspection.
Please pray for the woman who was transported from Planned Parenthood this Saturday. We do not know her name or what the problem was, but we can be sure that our prayers for her are needed.
Eleanor McCullen outside the bubble zone at Planned Parenthood in Boston
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of McCullen v. Coakley, the Massachusetts “bubble zone” case. In 2007, the state enacted a law prohibiting speech within 35 feet of the entrance to an abortion facility, making sidewalk counseling at these facilities far more difficult.
Sidewalk counselor Eleanor McCullen, a 77-year old grandmother who has saved hundreds of babies with her peaceful outreach to women entering Massachusetts abortion clinics, challenged the law, saying it unfairly restricts her freedom of speech.
The transcript [PDF] from yesterday’s hearing suggests that the Court is inclined to agree with her. Justices Kennedy, Scalia and Alito, in particular, challenged Massachusetts assistant attorney general Jennifer Miller on her claim that the law does not discriminate based on one’s viewpoint.
Here’s Justice Alito, addressing Miller: [Continue reading ...]
Last October, the Pro-Life Action League marked the 6th anniversary of the day Planned Parenthood opened their massive “Abortion Fortress” in Aurora, Illinois with a prayer vigil. We were honored to have the Most Reverend Daniel Conlon, Bishop of Joliet as one of our speakers.
Bishop Conlon gave one of the best pro-life speeches I heard all year that day, emphasizing that love must be the basis of our pro-life ministry, that it must undergird everything we do as pro-life people.
Watch Bishop Conlon’s speech above, and let it inspire you to order your pro-life work this year with love as the organizing principle. As he said, our love and God’s love are what motivates us to care about mothers and babies and what makes it possible to save them from the pain of abortion!
Special thanks to the Live Pro-Life group for capturing the footage!
She has been in jail ever since on charges of “mischief: interference with lawful enjoyment/operation of a business,” and and breach of a probation order that prohibits her from being within 200 meters of any place where abortions are performed in Ontario.
This was the sixth time Mary had been arrested since she began her campaign of civil disobedience in March 2010. Since then, she has spent nearly three years in prison.
Every year the Pro-Life Action League brings the joy and hope of Christmas to the darkness of the abortuary with our “Empty Manger” Christmas Caroling day.
Now more than ever, we need to be actively engaged in fighting abortion on the ground outside our nation’s abortion facilities. Sometimes that means sidewalk counseling, sometimes that means protesting, and sometimes that means bringing the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ to the doors of the abortion clinic with peaceful Christmas caroling.
In recent years, more and more pro-life activists around the country have started holding their own Christmas caroling events at abortion clinics, and now it’s your turn to get involved in this Advent pro-life ministry.
To help you do just that, the Pro-Life Action League has put together some resources that will make your caroling day a success:
With these resources, hosting your own “Empty Manger” caroling day will be a snap.
The Pro-Life Action League will be sponsoring two caroling tours in the Chicago area on Saturday, December 21st. If you’ll be hosting your own caroling day in your local area, please send us the details, and we’ll include them below. [Continue reading ...]