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News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
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!
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 …]
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 …]
Having 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 …]
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!
The closing of the Forest View abortion clinic is a textbook example that proves grassroots pro-life activism works. [Continue reading …]
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 …]
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 …]
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 …]
The Guttmacher Institute released a study [PDF] earlier this week revealing that the abortion rate in the U.S. has continued to decline in recent years and is now at a level not seen since the 1970s.
And as the Pro-Life Action League’s Matt Yonke pointed out in an article published on Monday, Planned Parenthood’s abortion numbers continued going up during this same time period, giving the nation’s largest abortion chain an ever greater share of the industry.
National Right to Life published its own analysis of the study, which observed that the stridently “pro-choice” Guttmacher Institute, not surprisingly, “downplayed the role that public debate over the rights of unborn children have played in this trend.”
In its analysis, NRLC notes that in the study, Guttmacher:
…cites the state of Illinois, which saw an 18% decline in abortion numbers even though the state didn’t enact any pro-life legislation during period covered by the report. This neglects, however, that the state’s parental notice law, which had been enjoined since its passage in 1995, was once again in the news in 2009 and 2010 – precisely during the study period – and again prompted a public discussion and debate [about] parental involvement in a minor daughter’s abortion decision.
Surely, the public policy debate surrounding Illinois’ parental notification law during this time helped to lower the state’s abortion rate.
But what else did? [Continue reading …]
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 …]