Saturday’s “Youth for Truth” Rally out at the Planned Parenthood site was a spectacular success. All 500 T-shirts were given away, and many teens will have to wait until the next Youth for Truth event to get theirs.
Hundreds of parents, grandparents and younger siblings came out to support the teens. It was a great day. As kids arrived at the event starting at about 12:30, they were given a T-shirt (until they ran out), and then invited to pray in the ongoing Vigil; join the swelling picket line along New York Street; or hold a large, stationary sign on Oakhurst or New York.
Students came from Aurora West, Aurora East, Waubonsee, Aurora Central Catholic, Rosary, Marmion, Aurora Christian and other area high schools. Students also came from Aurora University, Illinois State and other colleges.
Drivers passing the large signs along the north side of New York first saw an eight week unborn baby, then a little born baby, and finally a toddler — a quick lesson in the continuity of human life. Along Oakhurst, large signs of Jesus holding a tiny aborted baby read alternately, “Abortion Kills His Children” and “Jesus Forgives and Heals.” At its height, the picket line on the south side of New York boasted 400 teens and their families.
At 1:30, the huge crowd gathered around a small stage at the corner of Oakhurst and New York to hear some talks by three of the teens involved in planning the event — Danny Schleitwiler, Sean Grismer and Mary Kate Guest — and a moving testimony by Yvonne Florczak-Seeman, who have five abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics before finding Christ’s forgiveness. She called on the teens to embrace chastity with all their hearts.
Then pro-life Illinois State Senator Chris Lauzen spoke to the teens about the importance of the political fight for life, and I offered a few words about the crucial role of activism — putting our convictions into action — before leading the crowd back into formation on the picket line.
After the speeches, a Christian teen band set up on Oakhurst with a generator and played praise and worship music as the picket and prayer vigil continued to the north and south. At 3:00 all the signs came down, as scheduled, but many teens stayed on to visit and pray together.
Kudos to Danny, Mary Kate, Sean and all the youth who put together this event in less than two weeks’ time. You showed Planned Parenthood that you utterly reject their lies. You are a powerful and inspiring testimony that young people are capable of chastity and self-sacrifice. God bless Youth for Truth!