Eric, Joe and Ann Scheidler at the March for Life in Washington DC.
Chicago—Wikipedia calls Joe Scheidler the “Father of Pro-Life Activism,” and others have dubbed him the “Godfather of the Pro-Life Movement.” As National Director of the Pro-Life Action League, he continues to speak out against the legalized killing of unborn children, even after four decades of tireless work.
The 40 years since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision have been filled with protest and passion from all sides of the abortion controversy. Few voices have rung out through this entire period with a clear, consistent, unwavering pro-life message—and Joe Scheidler’s is one of them. Here are five of the many reasons why:
- Joe has been there right from the BEGINNING: In 1973, he founded the Chicago Office for Pro-Life Publicity, believing that the American people would rise up in opposition to abortion once they saw the scientific proof of the humanity of the unborn child. But when confronted by widespread apathy about the injustice of abortion, Joe turned to more creative strategies, launching 40 years of active leadership in the pro-life movement.
- Joe has always been active in demanding SOCIAL JUSTICE: In the spring of 1965 he marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama. It was a natural jump from speaking out for the civil rights of disenfranchised Americans to defending the right to life of unborn children who cannot speak for themselves. King’s organization, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has stood by Scheidler in his legal battles to protect the lives of children in the womb.
- The “Godfather” of the pro-life movement was victorious in the SUPREME COURT—twice: After 19 years of legal battles, Joe won the class action RICO case NOW v. Scheidler that singled him out as the primary enemy of abortion. The RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) laws were originally designed to address organized crime. No mobster, “Godfather” Joe won lopsided victories at the Supreme Court in both 2003 and 2006.
- Joe is the pioneer in the controversial tactic of displaying GRAPHIC ABORTION IMAGES in the public square: His Pro-Life Action League continues to conduct Face The Truth tours across the nation, eliciting strong reactions from supporters and opponents alike.
- Providing a forum for WHISTLEBLOWERS to expose the dark side of the abortion industry was another first for Joe: Since 1987, Joe has been hosting conferences at which former abortion clinic doctors, nurses, and other staff tell the shocking story of what it’s really like inside the abortion business and what led them to renounce the killing of unborn children.
Joe’s son Eric, who works with his father as the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, points to many other reasons that Joe is regarded as the leader of this far-reaching cultural battle for the lives of unborn children. “It would be hard to find a pro-life leader today who doesn’t point to Joe Scheidler as a source of inspiration and leadership, and even abortion supporters offer their grudging respect for his creativity and tenacity. Countless thousands of unborn babies are alive today thanks to the sidewalk counseling ministry he pioneered. Joe’s leadership will continue to be felt even if we are in this fight for another forty years.”
Joe Scheidler literally wrote the book on pro-life activism, CLOSED: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, a resource for generations of activists. His ground-breaking videos, “Meet the Abortion Providers” and “Abortion: The Inside Story,” have exposed industry secrets from the lives of those who lived them.
Joe Scheidler is available for interviews. His official biography, as National Director of the Pro-Life Action League, can be found here.