Face-Off at the City Council

Joe Scheidler On Tuesday we returned to the Aurora City Council to respond publicly to the lies that Planned Parenthood has been telling about us and to commend the City Council for launching an independent investigation into PP’s dealings with the City. We were assured by Mayor Weisner that adequate time would be given to complete, study and act upon the investigation, even if that meant Planned Parenthood’s temporary occupancy permit would expire on September 18. Despite the his earlier flip-flop on the deadline, I’m ready to take the Mayor’s word on this. The Planned Parenthood folks were out there too, dressed in their pink T-shirts and waving their little pink signs. Most of them rallies outside the City Council, not having signed up to speak. Steve Trombley showed, as reported by Jill Stanek. Also on site was the target of many of Trombley’s most vicious lies, my father, Joe Scheidler, pictured above surrounded by PP’s pink signs (thanks to Jill for the photo). This picture says a lot about my father and the pro-life movement in general. Here’s a guy that Trombley’s trying to depict as a violent criminal, literally surrounded by his enemies, totally at peace. He’s beaming—because he knows he’s doing God’s will. I have always maintained that those who do resort to violence in an effort to stop abortion essentially lack faith. They are unwilling to work peacefully against abortion and leave it to God to produce results. They don’t really trust Him. They aren’t willing to stand in the rain, the beating sun, the dark of night, the bitter cold, holding a sign, saying a prayer, offering help to women in crisis and most of the time being rebuffed. They aren’t willing to do all these things and never see the results in this life. The ones who really get active in the movement, who year after year are willing to do the grunt work in the trenches, are the very opposite of the type who would resort to violence. The violent ones, we learn, were never really part of the movement. They were on the fringes. They never had the guts—the faith—to do their small part and leave the rest up to God. But those who have learned to trust in God are filled with a profound sense of peace, even in the midst of tremendous adversity. This image of my father outside City Hall last night is the image of the pro-life movement—surrounded by our enemies, but at peace in Him. To return to the events last night: Inside the Council Chambers, the crowd was about 80% pro-life. Of the speakers, 56 were pro-life and 11 were pro-Planned Parenthood, several of whom took only a couple seconds of their three minutes to say they welcome Planned Parenthood. None that I heard gave any defense of PP’s shady operations here. I had the good fortune to be the second speaker, so I was able to offer my remarks and then relax and listen. I also spent some time outside with my folks (who didn’t get in until much later on) and the other pro-lifers out there. The City Council voted 8-3 to limit citizen comments to three hours, but to start with Aurora residents first. This probably helped us, since nearly everyone from PP was from out of town (we heard they emptied their offices in downtown Chicago). Below are my comments to the City Council:

Comments to the Aurora City Council—September 11, 2007 My name is Eric Scheidler, and I live at 839 Garfield Avenue in the 4th Ward. I am here today to respond to Planned Parenthood’s allegations about me, my father and the Fox Valley citizens who have been protesting Planned Parenthood since August 9. Yesterday, Planned Parenthood published a full-page ad in the Aurora Beacon which declared that “the leaders of the anti-Planned Parenthood protests” have a “history of advocating violence . . . and other criminal activity.” I would like to set the record straight. My father, Joe Scheidler, founded the Pro-Life Action League in 1980 to bring to the pro-life movement the kind of peaceful activism exercised by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with whom he had marched during the Civil Rights era. My father and the Pro-Life Action League have always ardently opposed any use of violence whatsoever in the fight against abortion. My father has never been convicted of a violent crime. He has never advocated violence, nor ever praised anyone for committing acts of violence. He has been arrested, but then so was Dr. King—and trespass is not a violent crime. In their ad, Planned Parenthood says: After a six-week trial in 1998 (case No. 86C7888), a jury in Chicago unanimously found that the Pro-Life Action League Network orchestrated 121 crimes involving acts of threats of force or violence against women’s health facilities that offered abortion services. Note that, Planned Parenthood refers to this case by it’s docket number, rather than by its name as is usually done. I suppose Planned Parenthood is not eager that the citizens of Aurora should look into these allegations themselves. For if they did, they would learn that the case, The National Organization for Women versus Scheidler, was ultimately decided in favor of Joe Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League, in an 8-1 decision in 2003 and again, decisively, in a unanimous decision in 2006, after NOW tried to stall the implementation of the 2003 decision. Once again, Planned Parenthood fails to provide all the relevant facts. They want you to believe that we are violent criminals because of a 1998 lawsuit, but fail to mention that the pro-lifers were ultimately exonerated in the Supreme Court, twice. Moreover, I have only worked for the League since 2002. NOW v. Scheidler has nothing to do with us here in Aurora. If this is Planned Parenthood’s standard of honesty and full disclosure, then the City Council is indeed justified in thoroughly investigating Planned Parenthood’s dealings with the City of Aurora. Nor should the City Council be surprised to find that Planned Parenthood is guilty of deception with regard to the permit application process. And so I call upon you, Mayor Weisner, and the City Council not to believe Planned Parenthood’s lies, either about the pro-lifers of Aurora, or about how Planned Parenthood came into our town. If you agree that Planned Parenthood has lied to the City, don’t let them get away with it. Deny their occupancy permit permanently. Let Planned Parenthood find somewhere else to spread their lies and deception.

[Cross-posted at Families Against Planned Parenthood]

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