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Home Hotline Blog Archives

Hotline Archive: Sidewalk Counseling

Pro-Life Action League Sues the City of Chicago over “Bubble Zone” Law

Posted by John Jansen (August 23, 2016 at 5:01 pm)

Today the Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Pro-Life Action League that seeks to overturn the City of Chicago’s hopelessly confusing “bubble zone” law, which has grossly infringed on the rights of pro-life sidewalk counselors to reach out to abortion-bound mothers since it was enacted in 2009.

To help launch this lawsuit, the League held a noon press conference and protest outside Planned Parenthood’s Near North abortion facility near downtown Chicago, which was attended by dozens of grassroots pro-life activists holding signs reading, “Protect Free Speech” and “No Bubble Zone.” [Continue reading …]

Tags: . Posted in Law and Politics, Sidewalk Counseling | 0 Comments »

Pro-Life Action League to File Suit against City of Chicago over “Bubble Zone” Law

Posted by Eric Scheidler (August 17, 2016 at 12:49 pm)

bubble zone protest in chicago

Next Tuesday, the Pro-Life Action League is filing a lawsuit against the City of Chicago over the unjust “Bubble Zone” law that has been making it harder for pro-life sidewalk counselors to reach abortion-bound mothers for nearly seven years.

The law makes it illegal to approach within eight feet of someone walking towards an abortion clinic without their consent, once they’re within 50 feet of the entrance.

Sound confusing? That’s because it is. This law was designed to be confusing, and the Chicago police have been misapplying it from Day One, and it’s caused endless problems for our faithful sidewalk counselors.

Pro-Life Action League staff and volunteers have been carefully gathering evidence of First Amendment violations by police wrongly applying the Bubble Zone ordinance, and now our attorneys at the Thomas More Society are ready to go to court.

To draw media attention to this important case, we’re holding a protest and press conference outside Planned Parenthood on Chicago’s north side on Tuesday. [Continue reading …]

Tags: . Posted in Law and Politics, Sidewalk Counseling | 0 Comments »

This Video Saved a Baby from Abortion

Posted by Matt Yonke (April 13, 2015 at 4:39 pm)

Last week, the Pro-Life Action League published the video above—911 call audio along with video from local sidewalk counselors and prayer partners documenting an ambulance taking a woman away from an abortion clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas after a botched abortion.

The video quickly became one of our most viewed—over 20,000 people have watched it since its launch. But much more important was the impact it had on one woman.

On Friday we learned that a pregnant woman who was considering abortion saw this video. After viewing this video and seeing how little the abortion industry truly cares for women, she chose life for her baby! [Continue reading …]

Posted in Abortion, Clinic Witness, Sidewalk Counseling, Videos | 0 Comments »

How Would Jesus Do Sidewalk Counseling?

Posted by Matt Yonke (November 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm)

When Jesus walked the earth there were no abortion clinics, but all the same His ministry does reveal a great deal about how we should approach women in sidewalk counseling outside the abortion facility.

In this new video, Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler shares his perspective on two passages from John’s gospel that shed light on how Jesus ministered to women in situations very similar to that of the abortion-bound woman.

It’s crucial that we take the right approach in the life and death work of sidewalk counseling, and Our Lord gives us a template that leads mercy and love for women. Check out Eric’s video and let us know what you think in the comments!

Posted in Abortion, Clinic Witness, Sidewalk Counseling, The Culture War, Videos | 1 Comment »

League Co-Sponsors Dynamic Sidewalk Counseling Workshop

Posted by Ann Scheidler (October 27, 2014 at 2:43 pm)
Coalition for Life St. Louis director Brian Westbrook (second from right) joins pro-lifers at 40 Days for Life site in Chicago 

Coalition for Life St. Louis director Brian Westbrook (second from right) joins pro-lifers at 40 Days for Life site in Chicago, October 25

The Pro-Life Action League teamed up with the Women’s Centers of Greater Chicagoland and the Respect Life Committee of St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Hinsdale, Illinois to present a sidewalk counseling workshop at the parish on Saturday, Oct 25.

The seminar, attended by 40 eager-to-learn pro-life activists, featured Coalition for Life St. Louis founder and director Brian Westbrook, who has done extensive research on best practices for reaching abortion-bound women and their companions.

At the seminar, Brian provided plenty of great ideas for sidewalk counselors to increase their chances of reaching those women who so desperately need hope and compassion if they are to choose life for their unborn babies. He also emphasized projecting a joyful countenance, greeting clients, clinic staff and escorts with a smile.

Brian has been very successful with this approach at the only abortion clinic in the entire state of Missouri, Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. He also works with a mobile ultrasound unit on site. Mobile ultrasound is relatively new in the Chicago area and was the motivation for inviting Brian to come to Chicago to teach his technique.

While in Chicago, Brian visited five area abortion clinics in order to get a sense of what challenges the local sidewalk counselors face. [Continue reading …]

Tags: , , . Posted in Sidewalk Counseling | 0 Comments »

Scheidlers Headline at Fourth Annual National Sidewalk Counseling Symposium

Posted by Ann Scheidler (August 15, 2014 at 11:54 am)
Eric, Ann and Joe Scheidler

Eric, Ann and Joe Scheidler at the NSCS in Birmingham [Photo by Kelly Manley]

Along with my husband Joe and our eldest son Eric, I was honored to be among the featured presenters at the fourth annual National Sidewalk Counseling Symposium in Birmingham, Alabama, sponsored by our friends at Pro-Life Action Ministries.

Birmingham was selected as the site at the invitation of Fr. Terry Gensemer of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. The past three conferences have been held in the Twin Cities, where PLAM is based, but this time director Brian Gibson jumped at the chance to hold the meeting in a different part of the country, making it available to sidewalk counselors in the South. [Continue reading …]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Posted in Pro-Life Events, Sidewalk Counseling | 1 Comment »

Our Time Is Never Wasted When We Stand Outside an Abortion Clinic

Posted by John Jansen (June 16, 2014 at 10:28 am)

sidewalk counselingHaving trained hundreds of sidewalk counselors in our first 34 years as an organization, we at the Pro-Life Action League have heard from many, many sidewalk counselors and prayer paratners over the years who have struggled at one point or another with a very basic human problem: namely, burnout.

When you take time on a regular basis to stand outside an abortion clinic to offer help to women, or simply to pray, your goal is clear: you hope that women change their minds and decide instead to choose life for their baby.

When that happens — and it certainly does happen — it’s nothing short of amazing, for a child that was scheduled to be killed will now be allowed to live, and your presence helped to make that happen.

But what if you experience long periods of time when it never happens?  Long periods of time when, as far as you know, no babies’ lives are saved, despite your consistent, tireless presence outside your local abortion clinic? [Continue reading …]

Tags: . Posted in Sidewalk Counseling | 0 Comments »

CLOSED: Forest View Abortion Clinic in Des Plaines, Illinois

Posted by John Jansen (April 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm)
Maria Goldstein outside of the closed Forest View abortion facility

Maria Goldstein of Northwest Families for Life stands outside the now closed Forest View abortion clinic in Des Plaines, IL

Earlier this year the Pro-Life Action League reported that notorious Chicago area abortionists Vinod and Vijay Goyal had recently sent a cold-call mailing [PDF] to local physicians inviting them to consider working at one of the husband-and-wife team’s six abortion clinics.

The letter also tried to drum up business for the financially troubled Goyals.  Their business has been down in recent years — which means their abortions have been down, reflecting a statewide trend across Illinois — and just this morning, we heard some great news: one of the Goyals’ abortion clinics, Forest View Medical Center in northwest suburban Des Plaines, is now permanently closed!

Grassroots Pro-Life Activism Closed This Abortion Clinic

The closing of the Forest View abortion clinic is a textbook example that proves grassroots pro-life activism works. [Continue reading …]

Tags: , , , , . Posted in Abortion, Pro-Life Activism, Sidewalk Counseling | 4 Comments »

League Celebrates Ouster of Abortion Champ Kathleen Sebelius at HHS

Posted by Eric Scheidler (April 11, 2014 at 4:13 pm)
Kathleen Sebelius

Disgraced, departing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

The Pro-Life Action League is heartened to hear that Kathleen Sebelius is resigning as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a post she has held since the early days of the Obama administration.

As HHS head, Sebelius was responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” and came under fire from both the right and left for the program’s horribly botched launch last year.

Sebelius was responsible for enacting the notorious HHS Mandate that forces employers to provide free abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives in their employees’ health plans. She also helped to keep health care consumers in the dark about whether their plans cover abortion, despite agreeing in a Congressional hearing that all coverage should be transparent. [Continue reading …]

Tags: , , , , , , . Posted in Health Care, Law and Politics, Planned Parenthood, Sidewalk Counseling | 0 Comments »

911 Call Shows How Little Planned Parenthood Cares about Women’s Health

Posted by Eric Scheidler (April 10, 2014 at 6:30 am)

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.

911 Operator Rebukes Planned Parenthood Staffer

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 …]

Posted in Abortion, Clinic Witness, Planned Parenthood, Sidewalk Counseling, Videos | 3 Comments »