On Thursday, January 23, the Pro-Life Action League brought out over two dozen stalwart activists on a bitterly cold five degree evening to protest of Planned Parenthood’s annual Roe v. Wade gala in Chicago.
In addition to celebrating the tragic court decision that stripped unborn babies of their right to life through all nine months of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood was also giving pro-choice Senator Dick Durbin a “Lifetime Achievement Award”.
As horrible as this is by itself, it’s also extremely incongruous, because Senator Durbin used to be a staunch pro-life advocate! The League brought signs reading, Return to Your Pro-Life Roots, Senator Durbin! and Senator Durbin: Unborn Babies Need You Back!
Mysterious VIP Flees the Scene
When we arrived on the scene, about half an hour before the start of the VIP Reception portion of the evening, a large stretch limousine was parked in front of the bar.
As we began to set up the volunteers with protest signs and images of abortion victims, the driver of the limousine exited the vehicle, spoke with the passenger in the back, drove away shortly thereafter and never returned.
We’re not sure who was in the limo, but one of the scheduled guests for the night was former Saturday Night Live cast member Jane Curtin. But it turns out, Curtin didn’t actually come to the event as planned, but appeared via Skype later in the evening, according to a report from the Windy City Times.
Perhaps Curtin was spooked by the protest and decided not to attend after all!
Bottom Lounge Staff Tries to Intimidate Pro-Lifers
As the event started at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge bar, Planned Parenthood supporters began to arrive, many of them greeting the pro-life protesters with rude taunts and hand gestures.
The staff of the Bottom Lounge attempted to keep protesters away from their entrance, but because the bar opens onto a public sidewalk we invoked our First Amendment right to free speech on public property and stood our ground.
An off-duty police officer working security attempted to move League National Director Joe Scheidler from his position between the two sets of front doors to the bar, suggesting it would be a “good compromise”.
Noting that it was no compromise at all, but rather him trying to bully us into weakening our protest, we again refused to move.
Police Called to Stop Protest, End Up Fixing Planned Parenthood’s Parking Debacle
Police were called in by a neighboring business owner who was upset by the protest, but the officers were more upset by the traffic jam Planned Parenthood had caused than by any of our protest activities.
The valet parking Planned Parenthood had set up for the event was much too small a space for the crowd they were expecting, and Lake Street was jam packed with stopped cars for minutes at a time.
Planned Parenthood employees came out when the police arrived and one said under her breath, “This is horrible!”
At first we thought she was referring to our protest, which included images of victims of abortion, but it turned out she was referring to the traffic debacle and the police presence. Not exactly a welcoming environment for their guests!
Durbin Hears the Voice of the Pro-Life Community
Shortly before we were planning to wrap up our protest, Senator Durbin finally arrived. We almost didn’t recognize him at first.
As a US Senator we assumed Durbin would arrive in some kind of state car, like Illinois Governor Pat Quinn had when he arrived earlier in the evening.
But Senator Durbin arrived in the front seat of a nondescript Chevrolet sedan. When he exited the vehicle to calls from pro-lifers to return to his pro-life roots and chants of “Life, yes! Abortion no!” Durbin looked like a deer in the headlights! Perhaps Planned Parenthood hadn’t bothered to tell him about our protest!
In any event, Durbin got back in the car and was escorted to the valet parking lot where he entered the bar through a back entrance and we were able to issue more pleas to the Senator to defend unborn babies and return to his pro-life roots.
Other notable attendees included a long roster of liberal Illinois politicians, June Rosner—wife of the late Dr. Martin Rosner, who performed the first legal abortion in Illinois, and pro-abortion attorney Fay Clayton who argued against the League in the legendary NOW v. Scheidler case at the Supreme Court. Ann Scheidler gave her a reminder about the tens of thousands of dollars in court costs her clients still owe us!
Planned Parenthood Will Not Celebrate Abortion Unopposed!
All in all, it was a bold pro-life witness, displaying pro-lifers commitment to oppose abortion no matter the weather. We will not let Planned Parenthood or their abortion-industry cronies celebrate the killing of unborn babies unopposed!
Thanks to all who toughed out the freezing temperatures! Keep an eye on the Upcoming Events Calendar on our home page so you can be a part of it next time we rain on Planned Parenthood’s parade!