Ann Scheidler sets up the first sign in Cincinnati [Photo by Eric Scheidler]
In October, the Pro-Life Action League was pleased to bring a “Face the Truth” Tour to Cincinnati, Ohio for the first time ever. On Saturday, October 8, the League and a great crew of local volunteers brought the reality of abortion to the public at three prominent intersections.
The idea to bring this dynamic public education initiative to Cincinnati was conceived when League Executive Director Eric Scheidler met his third cousin, Tim Scheidler, at the tribute dinner for Joe Scheidler last April. Tim is a Cincinnati native and an avid pro-life activist who traveled to Chicago just for Joe’s dinner.
Tim wondered if the League might be willing to bring Face the Truth to his home town. After discussing the prospect with some other Cincinnati contacts, we determined that there was enough interest to bring out volunteers for the effort, so plans were set in motion. Tim and fellow Cincinnati activist Jenn Giroux suggested several possible tour sites, from which the League staff, aided by Google Maps and Streetview, composed a three-site itinerary.
On the morning of October 7, with the first chill of fall in the air, we packed Eric’s vans full of signs and hit the road with a crew comprising Eric and his daughter Liza, Joe and Ann Scheidler, and League staffer John Jansen and me. We hit Cincinnati in about six hours and first visited all of the next day’s tour sites before checking into our hotel for the night.
Cincinnati Enquirer Covers First Site
The first site at Boudinot Avenue and Glenway Avenue kicked off at 9 a.m. with a dozen pro-lifers holding graphic abortion images along the 5-way intersection. A local reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer interviewed Eric and Tim Scheidler about the Tour, and a story ran the next morning.
At that site, Tour volunteer Kim was approached by a woman and her eleven-year-old daughter. The woman said her daughter had asked about the picture, and if she was old enough to ask, she was old enough to know. She asked Kim to explain.
Kim told the girl that people sometimes don’t want their babies and have someone kill them, instead of taking care of them. She said we pro-lifers were trying to stop that.
Opponents of Face the Truth often claim children are traumatized by seeing the terrible photos of the victims of abortion, but this girl understood. She was not traumatized—she was educated. And her heart was touched with compassion for her unborn brothers and sisters.
Old Pro-Life Friends Reunite at Second Site
Face the Truth Tour in Cincinnati, Oct. 8 [Photo by Matt Yonke]
Attendance doubled at our next site at Kenwood Road and Galbraith Road in Kenwood, with two dozen volunteers, many of them veteran activists who been doing clinic witness during the first site. They were excited to be on the front lines with League National Director Joe Scheidler, the man who had recruited so many of them into the pro-life movement.
Response from the public was overwhelmingly positive and hundreds of cars saw the truth about abortion en route to Kenwood Towne Center Mall and The Jewish Hospital, which was recently acquired by Mercy, a Catholic hospital network, bringing abortions there to a halt.
After this site, we gathered at Barbach-Werner Nature Preserve for a picnic lunch provided by Jim Dandy’s Family Barbeque, owned by a friend of Tim Scheidler’s who was unable to join the Tour but wanted to offer his support. His delicious pulled pork and chicken sandwiches fortified us for the remaining hours of this long day of activism.
Positive Responses Abound
Traffic was heavy at our final site at Colerain Avenue and Springdale Road in Northgate. Thousands more Cincinnatians saw the true face of “choice”—many of them for the first time. The manager of the Pearle Vision Centre forced us to move our vehicles from her nearly empty lot, but if that’s the price we had to pay for how smoothly everything else went, it was worth it.
Family stops to hold signs and talk to Joe and Eric Scheidler [Photo by Matt Yonke]
Response continued to be overwhelmingly positive. Several people stopped to thank the League for exposing the truth about abortion. A woman on her way to work told Eric she was overjoyed to see this kind of pro-life display, and to learn of League’s work. He gave her a copy of the League’s Sharing the Pro-Life Message handbook and encouraged her to put it to use at every opportunity.
A family of eight drove past the display and stopped to join us. The parents had seen Joe speak when they were college students and his words had continued to motivated them to remain active in the pro-life movement for over a decade.
Towards the end of the day, a woman parked her car and exited with her six-year-old son. I was ready for an angry outburst over her son seeing the pictures, as sometimes happens, but instead she did something I’d never seen before in my five years on the Tour. She walked with him over to one of the second trimester “Baby Malachi” abortion signs and calmly explained what it depicted.
After she’d finished her lesson, she thanked me for being there and gave me the four dollars she had on her as a donation. Her son, though clearly saddened to learn that anyone would do such a thing to an unborn baby like Malachi, was—again—not traumatized at all. He learned a hard truth, but it came with the consolation that pro-lifers are fighting to save babies like Malachi.
Thanks to Cincinnati’s Stalwarts!
It was an honor to join the stalwart activists of Cincinnati on this bold pro-life campaign, showing thousands throughout the city the reality of abortion. Their enthusiasm was infectious; by the end of the day there was already talk of bringing the Tour back to Cincinnati next year.
Want to bring a Face the Truth to your town? Call the League at 773-777-2900 or contact the League via e-mail to learn how.