SpeakOut Raises Up a New Pro-Life Generation

SpeakOut Illinois 2008

The 17th annual SpeakOut Illinois Conference at Drury Lane Oakbrook was a resounding success for all who attended. Before participants broke into a two-track format for newcomers and veteran pro-lifers, the League’s Eric Scheidler updated the battle against Planned Parenthood in Aurora.

Scott Klusendorf, founder of Life Training Institute, taught his audience how to defend their pro-life convictions by keeping the focus on the fundamental question: Is the unborn a member of the human family?

Patricia Bainbridge, director of the Respect Life office of the Diocese of Rockford, presented a frank exposure of Planned Parenthood’s true agenda.

Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, explained that science supports the findings that abortion substantially increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer later in life.

Jill Stanek

Henry Hyde Leadership Award honoree Jill Stanek [Photo by Matt Yonke]

Jill Stanek Honored

Jill Stanek, who runs one of the most popular pro-life blogs in the country—Jillstanek.com—spoke on the value of new technologies in promoting the value of life and exposing the attacks on life.

Jill Stanek also received the Henry Hyde Life Leadership Award for her courageous stand for life when she discovered that her employer, Christ Hospital, was aborting babies alive and leaving them to die in a soiled laundry closet.

The seminar ended with a moving testimony to adoption. Diane Schroeder, president of Lutherans for Life and Communications Director of CareNet of Dupage, and her daughter, Rebecca, shared their experience as an adoptive family.

Teen Program Emphasizes Activism

Concurrent with SpeakOut Illinois, TeenSpeak presented high school students with the tools and the motivation to be effective in the fight for life. Dr. Anthony Levatino told the young attendees about his personal involvement in providing abortions and his conversion to the pro-life movement. Scott Klusendorf taught the students how to defend their pro-life views and answer the challenges of their peers who call themselves pro-choice.

Dr. Anthony Levatino speaks

Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino shares his story during the TeenSpeak program [Photo by Matt Yonke]

Generations for Life Co-Directors Annie Casselman and John Jansen, along with League Communications Director Eric Scheidler and his assistant Matt Yonke, led discussions throughout the day and encouraged the teens to be leaders in their own right. Using pro-life videos to examine the current culture, the teens discussed the many ways they can impact their schools, churches and communities.

Those who attended SpeakOut and TeenSpeak were grateful for the opportunity to learn more about key issues facing the pro-life movement and look forward to spreading this information and redoubling their efforts on behalf of unborn children.

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