Advent and Lent: Special Seasons for Defending Life

The Pro-Life Action League fights abortion year-round, but the seasons of preparation for Christmas and Easter provide special opportunities to defend life. They’re also periods when our enemies—both natural and supernatural—target unborn babies and their mothers with particular zeal.

Planned Parenthood’s “Gift” of Abortion

For the past several years, Planned Parenthood has used the Christmas season to promote abortion with their “Choice on Earth” cards, but this year they reached new depths of sacrilege. In early December, Planned Parenthood of Illinois announced that they would be offering “Holiday Vouchers,” gift certificates that could be used for birth control, STD testing—or even abortion.

The Pro-Life Action League responded to this outrageous exploitation of Christmas by denouncing the scheme in a press release, which was picked up by the local press. I did two interviews with Fox News Chicago on the vouchers, making the point that Planned Parenthood would have urged the Virgin Mary to get an abortion.

I also posted a feature on the League website, calling on people to counter Planned Parenthood’s desecration of Christmas by giving donations to OptionLine, the pro-life crisis pregnancy hotline. When pro-life author Rick Osborne heard about the controversy, he offered free copies of his book, What Joseph and Mary Knew about Parenting, to all the donors. Hundreds were raised for OptionLine, while Planned Parenthood sold only a handful of vouchers.

Pro-Aborts Disrupt Pro-Life Caroling

Pro-abort screams in Joe Scheidler's face as he sings Carols at American
Women's Medical Center in Chicago, December 20

Pro-abort screams in Joe Scheidler’s face as he sings Carols at American Women’s Medical Center in Chicago, December 20 [Photo by John Jansen]

On December 20, the Pro-Life Action League hosted the Sixth Annual “Empty Manger” Christmas Caroling Day at abortuaries in Chicago, and for the second year, a concurrent caroling Tour visited abortuaries in DuPage County.

The DuPage Tour was well attended and participants were pleased with the League’s expanded caroling book, featuring more Christmas favorites than in years past. The day began at ACU Health Center in Hinsdale, then moved on to Aanchor abortuary in Glen Ellyn and Access Health Center in Downers Grove. By the time we reached our final stop at Planned Parenthood Aurora, our numbers had swelled to over seventy carolers, many of whom gathered at the Warehouse Church in Aurora for hot chocolate and Christmas cookies afterwards.

The caroling day in Chicago began as peacefully as that in DuPage, with a first stop at Planned Parenthood at LaSalle and Division and the second at Family Planning Associates on Washington. Buses arranged by Luann Bloom brought several families from the South Side to these first two sites.

But things turned ugly at the third site, American Women’s Medical Center on Western Avenue, when a group of pro-abortion counter-protestors appeared. The protesters soon became belligerent, shouting in the pro-life carolers’ faces and trying to block Corrina and Dan Gura’s “All I want for Christmas. . .Is an End to Abortion” sign. One pro-abortion woman pushed by the carolers spitting out, “You can’t block the sidewalk,” clearly trying to provoke a confrontation.

An amusing moment came when the leader of the pro-abort group led them in the chant “Pro-choice, that’s a lie, you don’t care if women die!” which they repeated several times before realizing they were saying it wrong.

When the carolers finished their singing at American Women’s they moved on to Albany Medical-Surgical Center on Elston. The caroling went peacefully until the very end, when the pro-aborts gathered a large enough group to attempt to disrupt the singing again.

Fortunately, the pro-life group was on their last carol, “Silent Night,” which they finished, leaving the pro-aborts behind. The pro-lifers gathered at Ann and Joe Scheidler’s house to enjoy hot chocolate and cookies and swap “war stories” from the day.

Lenten Prayers for the Suffering Innocents

Fr. Cesar Pajarillo leads the Stations of the Cross in Aurora April 10

Fr. Pajarillo leads the Stations in Aurora April 10 [Photo by Matt Yonke]

The Lenten season provided another special opportunity to protest the spilling of innocent blood in abortion through two Stations of the Cross events hosted on April 10, Good Friday: one at Albany abortuary in Chicago, the other at Planned Parenthood in Aurora.

The Stations in Aurora began at 3 p.m. with a huge crowd of 120 pro-lifers, many of them making their first visit to pray outside an abortion facility. Fr. Cesar Pajarillo of St. Rita of Cascia led the group in “The Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion.” For each set of prayers we huddled together in high winds around one of the fourteen stations my sons Nate and Sam and I had staked in the field across from Planned Parenthood.

Later that evening, 80 pro-lifers gathered to pray the stations at the Albany abortion center on Elston Avenue in Chicago. Judith Dasse supplied pictures of each station to be held by participants, including Joe and Ann Scheidler. Fr. Gerald O’Reilly of St. Daniel the Prophet Catholic Church on the south side led the prayers.

We appreciate these opportunities to pray in a special way during the major liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent, a sacrifice which adds special joy to the joyous celebrations of Christmas and Easter.

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