The League hosted ten pro-life activists from various states November 17, 2001, for a meeting to promote Face the Truth tours around the country.
The meeting, called by League directors, Joe and Ann Scheidler, brought together Jim Finnegan, director of Lutheran General Volunteers for Life, Tim Murphy, of the Pro-Life Action League, Monica Miller, president of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Kathy Mieding, sidewalk counselor and Mike Walsh, who helped with the PLAL 2001 Truth Tour. Also attending were Jack Ames, director of Defend Life based in Baltimore, MD and Andrea Hussle, Tour Director for Defend Life’s Truth Tour, Bob Newman, who has organized a truth tour for Pittsburgh, PA, in April, and Denny Green, director of the Virginia-based Life & Liberty Ministries, who has been conducting Truth Tours for five years. All traveled to Chicago for this strategy session, sponsored by the League.
The attendees agreed that showing the public the gruesome reality of abortion, while controversial in certain circles, is absolutely essential to the success of the pro-life movement.
“We must do this out of love for our neighbor,” said 23-year-old Andrea Hussle. “People must choose good over evil.”
Denny Green commented that the concept of the truth tour gives a “prophetic witness,” while Ann Scheidler, executive director of PLAL, said that by showing the graphic images of aborted babies, “we give [the public] an opportunity to choose life.”
They also agreed that one of the difficulties with organizing “truth tours,” besides logistics, is getting a decent turnout for most of the locations. In the Illinois tours, certain locations had a large number of sign-holders, but others were not well attended. Some Tour organizers have recruited captains for each site. The captain’s duties include communicating with local community groups and churches to publicize the event and encourage local residents to join the Tour. The captain also contacts local media for both pre and post event coverage of the Tour in a particular town. Where captains have been diligent, turnout is generally very good.
“We want to keep the debate alive,” said Monica Miller, director of the Joliet, Illinois-based Citizens for a Pro-Life Society. “The [Face the Truth] tour is a great opportunity to make much of [the issue of] abortion.”
Following the meeting, the activists retired to Monastero’s Restaurant for a fabulous Italian dinner, wine and great conversation.