STOPP’s Jim Sedlak tells the press about the Planned Parenthood threat [Photo by Diane Pietrzak]
“Whether it’s 40 days or prayer or 40 years of effort, we will shut down the Abortion Fortress of Aurora,” declared Eric Scheidler, Communications Director of the Pro-Life Action League. Scheidler is leading a grassroots effort to stop Planned Parenthood from opening a new facility in his town.
Scheidler made his comments at a press conference at the massive new building that Planned Parenthood says will open September 16 at 3051 E. New York Street (map).
Providing a powerful sign of pro-life fortitude during the press conference were over 100 members of Families Against Planned Parenthood, the local group resisiting Planned Parenthood in Aurora. They held pro-life signs, prayed and talked to passersby about the threat of Planned Parenthood.
An Inspiring Pro-Life Rally
Following the press conference, the group moved to the Prisco Community Center for a meeting—all except those pledged to stay on and pray at the 40-Day Vigil that has been going on since August 9.
Well over 400 area residents attended the meeting. Following and opening prayer by Pastor Bill Schroeder of New Life Baptist Church in Aurora, League National Director Joe Scheidler praised the local pro-lifers for mobilizing one of the most impressive grassroots pro-life effort he’s seen in 34 years fighting abortion.
Joe Scheidler (background) addresses the capacity audience at the Pro-Life Rally [Photo by Diane Pietrzak]
Jim Sedlak gave a rousing talk about the horrific threat the Planned Parenthood opposes, but exhorted the group to work tirelessly to fight them—because they cane be beaten.
Denise Mackura next offered exciting practical ideas about how to stop the “Abortion Fortress” from opening by exerting our the political influence we already have. The activists will be consulting with Mackura and other attorneys and political consultants next week about the specific steps they can take to block Planned Parenthood politically.
Jason Craddock of the TMS Pro-Life Law Center explained our rights to protest and pray at Planned Parenthood, and spoke about the judicious exercise of our free speech rights.
Finally, Elizabeth Earl, one of the Vigil coordinators, gave an overview of the 40-Day Prayer Vigil, with testimonies by volunteers Jane Fonner, Larry Johnson and Margie Breen about their moving experiences on the front lines. Fr. Timothy Barr of Holy Cross Church in Batavia offered a closing prayer.
Pro-life group gathers for candlelight vigil after Rally [Photo by Diane Pietrzak]
Day Concludes with Candlelight Vigil
At the conclusion of the Rally, Eric Scheidler, Master of Ceremonies for the evening, invited anyone who could to join him for a candlelight vigil at the Planned Parenthood site. Some sixty people came out at the end of this very long day to hold candles, sing hymns and pray that babies will never be aborted in Aurora.
Aurora Vigil and Rally in the News
Many local media outlets covered the press conference and evening rally:
- Chicago Tribune: “Abortion debate rages near new Aurora clinic”
- Aurora Beacon News: “Day of dueling rallies”
- Aurora Beacon News: “National pro-life leaders speak to local protesters”
- Aurora Beacon News: “Black or white is gray after a look at both sides”
- Chicago Public Radio: “Pro-Life Activists Rally in Aurora”
- Naperville Sun: “Protests peaceful as both sides weigh in over abortion facility”
- Daily Herald: “Clinic opens, protests greet it”