Rockford, Illinois Sees the True Face of Abortion

Face the Truth tour in Rockford 

Face the Truth display in Rockford, IL [Photo by Matt Yonke]

Yesterday, the Pro-Life Action League brought the Face the Truth Tour to the northern Illinois city of Rockford.

This dynamic public education initiative brings graphic photos of the victims of abortion to major intersections, holding the reality of abortion before the eyes of the public.

Rockford is a major hotspot for abortion controversy. The abnormally creepy abortion mill there, run out of a disused grade school, has been the site of bizarre displays of anti-Christian hate speech as well as seemingly demonic antics on the part of the clinic’s owner, Wayne Webster.

Short on Staff, Long on Volunteers

The day drew a remarkable crowd of around 50 pro-lifers, most of whom attended all 3 stops. The group was largely stalwart local activists who join the tour every year, but there were a number of first-timers as well.

We were grateful for such a wonderful group of volunteers, but our staff was a bit shorthanded for this Truth Day as 3 of our usual crew were not available. Fortunately, League Executive Director Eric Scheidler’s brother Peter was available to pitch in and fill the gaps.

Controversy at Second Site

Face the Truth tour in Rockford 

Eric Scheidler looks for police as a man harasses volunteers [Photo by Matt Yonke]

At the day’s second site at Alpine Road and State Street, the League met resistance from some locals who opposed the display.  A man who owned a tattoo parlor became extremely irate when a teenage girl with a baby Malachi sign was placed outside his shop. The man came out and began shouting at the girl and took her sign from her, attempting to move her away from his shop.

Eric Scheidler and I ran across the street to intervene. The man was yelling and cursing at us about having a sign on his property. Eric informed him that it was public property, not his, and that we simply couldn’t move signs every time a business didn’t want us to be there—if we did we would have to move practically every sign.

Eventually, after the man realized we would not modify our display, he went inside, only to return a few minutes later and attempt to park his truck in such a way as to obscure the sign. The impact on the full display was minimal.

Rockford Calls in for Eric

Face the Truth tour in Rockford 

Pro-lifers hold 3rd trimester abortion signs [Photo by Matt Yonke]

After a delightful meal at Old Country Buffet provided by local pro-lifer Kevin Rilott and the Rockford Pro-Life Initiative, we set up our final site at State Street and Perryville Road.

Though it’s a huge and extremely busy intersection, the display was set up with no complications.

During the site, Eric Scheidler did a radio interview with Paul Youngblood on WNTA Radio. Paul’s call-in show is one of the highest rated in the Rockford area, and Eric was on for nearly a full hour taking calls from local listeners. The callers were mostly pro-life, though some disagreed with the tactic of using graphic signs.

One caller inexplicably said he could never be part of the pro-life movement because the League used the graphic images. Eric pointed out that his distaste for our tactics doesn’t change the reality of abortion and said that if he didn’t like what we did there were plenty of other ways to help stop abortion. Dropping out of the fight simply doesn’t make sense.

The Difference a Day Makes

At the close of the day, Kevin Rilott told me that we can’t possibly know the impact that this one day a year of Face the Truth has on the community. Between the thousands who saw the pictures and the thousands more who heard Eric on the radio, Rockford will no doubt be talking about abortion quite a lot more than they would have had the League not come to town.

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