At the invitation of Mary Ann McCafferty, Joe Scheidler gave the banquet address in Bowie, MD May 16 at a dinner sponsored by ABBA Ministries to benefit the Gabriel Project.
ABBA Ministries, which stands for Another Baby Born Again, is a pro-life initiative to raise awareness of the value of both mother and baby in a crisis pregnancy situation. The Gabriel Project is a relatively new program designed to help young mothers cope with the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy and motherhood.
Volunteers with the Gabriel Project give their time, their love and their support to pregnant moms. Every mother is assigned an Angel Friend, a woman who is responsible for contacting her on a regular basis to see how she is doing and if she needs anything. Other volunteers pray for the mothers and their families. Clergy counsel the mothers and invite them to become part of the parish family.
If the pregnant mother has material needs, the Gabriel Project supplies diapers, baby clothes, food, even money to pay the rent if necessary. Some volunteers drive the mothers to doctors’ appointments and help with childcare.
Scheidler praised Mrs. McCafferty and her colleagues for organizing the Gabriel Project in the Baltimore area and explained how pro-life activists involved in sidewalk counseling appreciate the compassion and care offered by Gabriel Project Angels. Without a caring support program the sidewalk counselors would have very little to offer women who think abortion is the only answer to a crisis pregnancy.
Guests of Steve Peroutka
While in Baltimore, Joe and Ann Scheidler were guests of Steven Peroutka, a Baltimore lawyer who is a strong supporter of the Gabriel Project and of other pro-life ministries in Maryland. The Scheidlers stayed at Peroutka’s home on the Sevren River and spent an afternoon touring Fort McHenry, where “The Star Spangled Banner” was written, and Babe Ruth’s birthplace.
On Friday evening Scheidler spoke at a pro-life celebration in Severna Park organized by Peroutka to acknowledge local politicians and activists who stand up for the value of life. One-hundred-fifty people attended the reception and talk. Scheidler emphasized the importance of each individual contribution to the pro-life cause. He congratulated public officials who see life as a win issue and encouraged pro-life activists to do everything they can to evangelize the culture and restore respect for all life. “I am an activist,” said Scheidler, “and I also see that there is a whole menu of activities in the fight for life. If I were a legislator I would make pro-life a positive argument for voting for me,” Scheidler said. “The right-to-life is a win issue.”
Scheidler talked about how the Face the Truth tours bring the reality of abortion to a public that will not learn the truth any other way. “We are taking abortion to the American people and when they see it they don’t like it,” said Scheidler. “But for twenty-nine years they haven’t seen it. We have to take the abortion issue out to the people.”
Response to Scheidler’s address was enthusiastic. As a surprise to Joe, Jack Ames presented him with a poster-size canvas photo of Joe giving thumbs up in front of the Supreme Court building, taken just days before the Justices agreed to review the NOW v. Scheidler RICO case. The poster now hangs in the reception area of the Pro-Life Action League office in Chicago.