Jim Finnegan at his post on the Madison Bridge over the Kennedy Expressway Aug. 20 [Photo by EJS]
Encouraged by our most successful summer Face the Truth tour ever, we decided to continue the powerful campaign with monthly “Truth Days” at sites around downtown Chicago through the fall. With an expanded Face the Truth schedule we reached tens of thousands more Chicagoans, passed out thousands of pieces of literature, and saved at least two babies’ lives.
Possible Save in August
For our first Truth Day, Wednesday Aug. 20, we revisited the sites from the first day of our July tour. In the morning, over two dozen volunteers held huge pictures of a baby decapitated by a third-trimseter abortion on the Kennedy overpasses of Lake, Washington, Madison, Monroe and Adams Streets. As in July, the response from passing cars was largely positive, especially from truck drivers.
At lunchtime we returned to the Daley Center, covering the plaza along Washington and Dearborn Streets. Rev. Carl King, Sr. was passing by when he saw the display and asked for information for the daughter of one of his congregation who had an abortion scheduled later in the week. I suggested he call my sister Annie back at our office, which he did immediately. Annie gave him extensive advice on talking the young woman out of abortion — possibly one more life saved by Face the Truth.
At our last stop of the day at Madison and Wacker we confronted harder hearts than the other sites of the day, with many commuters appearing apathetic or even hostile, including a law student who assured me that third trimester abortion is not legal, nor is holding abortion signs on the street. However, we continued to receive warm thanks from some, often right when most needed.
Joe Scheidler explains Face the Truth to a supportive passerby outside “Big Blue” during the sunny Sept. 17 Truth Day [Photo by EJS]
Ann Scheidler was holding a sign near the Madison bridge over the Chicago River when none other than NOW attorney Lowell Sachnoff walked by. He commented, “How disgusting,” not recognizing Ann until she greeted him with a cheery “Hi, Lowell!” He turned on his heel and fled into the crowd, while the woman immediately behind him said to Ann, “God Bless You!”[Back to Top]
Pro-Lifer Assaulted in September
Our uncanny run of great weather for the 2003 Face the Truth campaign continued on Wednesday, Sept. 17 with bright blue skies and unseasonably warm weather for our second monthly Truth Day. We began as usual over the Kennedy overpasses, with twenty volunteers covering seven bridges over the expressway.
Next we moved on to “Big Blue,” the James R. Thompson Center that houses many state government offices. Providentially, radical pro-abortion Attorney General Lisa Madigan was present in the building for a cultural event. After a quick lunch we fanned out throughout the downtown area to distribute thousands of pieces of literature.
For our last stop we returned to the grim Adams and Wacker instersection. Just like during the summer, the crowd was largely indifferent or hostile, though we also received some of our warmest remarks there and we managed to distribute hundreds of Face the Truth flyers. For the first half hour at the site, a phalanx of sixteen held pictures of Baby Malachi outside the building a few blocks south of the site that houses the offices of NOW attorney Fay Clayton, the loser of NOW v. Scheidler.
Near the end of the day, Truth tour lieutenant Tim Murphy and volunteer Steve Dornbos were both hit on the back by a passer by shouting, “Put it away!” After a vigorous pursuit, the attacker was apprehended with the help of some strangers and handed over to police. Murphy pressed charges and went to trial, but after months of delay the case against the attacker was dismissed by a pro-abortion judge.
Nate Scheidler is ready with a “How You Began” flyer on Madison St. during the Oct. 15 “Life Day” [Photo by EJS]
New Tactic Used in October
For October we tried a different tactic, a “Life Day” using only our LIFE signs, with pictures of beautiful baby faces, along with a few signs depicting fetal development and some of the Jesus signs that say “Abortion Kills His Children.” Our group of two dozen began early in the morning Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Madison and Wacker, meeting the throngs of morning commuters, then moved on to Daley Plaza and the early lunch crowd.
There were fewer negative reactions than when we hold the graphic abortion signs, yet there were still some. At Daley Plaza one passerby told Tim Murphy that what he was doing was “disgusting,” and said that he would pray for us to change our ways. Tim was holding a LIFE sign. A woman rebuffed Annie Scheidler’s attempt to hand her How You Began, a flyer on fetal development that doesn’t even mention abortion, by saying “I’m pro-choice.” Annie was taken aback — don’t pro-choicers care about fetal development?
Though we weren’t holding the graphic abortion signs, the horror of abortion was implicit in our honoring the beauty of babies born and unborn. People got the point — both those who criticized us and the many more who blessed and thanked us.
Two Babies Saved in November
We returned to the streets with our graphic abortion pictures for the last Truth Day of 2003, Wednesday, Nov. 19, when two babies were saved from abortion. At our first site at Adams and Wacker we confronted the morning commuters, as difficult to reach as we’ve come to expect at Union Station.
Dark, chilly start to the Nov. 19 Truth Day on Adams [Photo by EJS]
Among the exceptions to our chilly reception was a woman who saw our signs and then took a detour on her way to work to buy us a giant box of donuts. We enjoyed this treat at our next stop, the Daley Center. This made our fourth visit of the year to Daley Plaza, where city workers were installing Chicago’s giant Christmas Tree.
Upon seeing the graphic abortion pictures on display at the Plaza, two different pregnant women planning to have abortions stopped to talk to volunteers. Both decided against abortion, and one of them went straight from Daley Plaza to the Aid for Women pregnancy resource center a few blocks away.
At one point NOW lead attorney Fay Clayton walked briskly past the display of graphic photographs. One can only guess how frustrated she must be to see us more active than ever after her failure to shut us down with RICO charges in the NOW v. Scheidler lawsuit.
“They Shall Not Have Died in Vain”
During the concluding prayer of this final Truth Day, I noted that it was the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and recalled his prayer that “these dead shall not have died in vain.” I led our group in a prayer that the aborted babies we show during Face the Truth will not have died in vain, but through our witness they and the millions of other babies killed by abortion will bring our country back to life.
We also thanked God for the two saves, the great turnout and the remarkably good weather that has blessed this year’s Truth tours. His grace has shone brightly on Face the Truth this year.
Links and Related Articles
- 2003 Face the Truth Tour a Success — article on last summer’s tour from Fall 2003 Action News