Eric Scheidler Encourages Pro-Lifers
On Saturday, December 19, the Pro-Life Action League hosted its 7th annual “Empty Manger” Caroling Day, bringing the joy of Christmas to 9 abortion mills across the Chicago area.
Counter-Protesters and Snowfall in DuPage County
The League split the caroling day into two “tours,” one in Chicago and one in suburban DuPage County. The DuPage tour started at ACU Health Center in Hinsdale with about 15 pro-lifers.
Several women were seen exiting the clinic as pro-lifers caroled, and a sidewalk counselor was on hand to offer them support and information. One counter-protester from NARAL’s “Illinois Choice Action Team” came for about ten minutes, holding a sign opposing the carolers.
At the Aanchor facility in Glen Ellyn, a huge crowd of local stalwarts joined the tour. The snow and wind picked up, but the pro-lifers carried on undaunted. The sidewalk counselors there informed tour participants that 11 girls had gone in that morning and at the end of the stop, prayers were offered for those girls and their babies. At Glen Ellyn, the counter-protester from the first stop was joined by two more who stood with signs.
At the third site outside Access Health Center in Downers Grove, the counter-protesters dwindled back to two, but pro-lifers’ ranks held strong. See the video from that site above.
The final stop of the DuPage tour was Planned Parenthood Aurora, the nation’s second largest abortion clinic. There the ranks of the tour grew to around 50. The Christmas joy was palpable as pro-lifers raised their voices in praise to God for sending His Son. After the last stop, carolers gathered for the third consecutive year at Warehouse Church in Aurora for pro-life fellowship along with cookies and hot chocolate.
Chicago Tour Sees Extra Police Presence
Chicago Caroling Tour Montage
The Chicago Empty Manger Christmas caroling tour drew nearly three dozen carolers and 10 protesters from the Illinois Choice Action Team. Since last year’s protesters were particularly aggressive the League notified the Chicago Police Department that the tour would be visiting five abortion clinics and asked for their extra protection.
In the 14th District, the police responded with an overstated presence, bringing 10 squad cars and an equal number of officers to All Women’s Clinic—a new stop on the tour—which was not even open for business that day. The protesters at All Women’s remained on the opposite side of Armitage Avenue with their NARAL signs opposing a ban on abortion funding in health care reform.
Counter-Protesters Misread Bubble Zone Ordinance
American Women’s clinic is also in the 14th District, so most of the police who had been at All Women’s also traveled to that location on Western Avenue.
Chicago’s Caroling Crew (Click here for larger image) [Photo by Ann Scheidler]
A few protesters had also shown up at the first site—Family Planning Associates on Washington St., but planted themselves across the street. The counter-protesters seemed to think the new Chicago bubble zone law required them to stay at least 50 feet from the clinic entrance, leaving the area near the clinic entirely to the pro-life carolers.
At Planned Parenthood’s request, the protesters skipped Planned Parenthood and none continued to the final site at Albany Medical/Surgical Center on Elston Avenue either. The tour arrived at Albany to the news that three women had changed their minds that day about their abortions after speaking to the sidewalk counselors outside the clinic, so pro-lifers were thrilled to celebrate three lives saved as they sang.
Following the five-site caroling tour, the carolers enjoyed hot chocolate and homemade cookies at Joe and Ann Scheidler’s home.