Wednesday, March 25th, 7:25am: We start unloading signs from Eric Scheidler’s van at the intersection of of Madison and Wacker in downtown Chicago. A few seconds later, some guy calls out to us, “A****es!”
We’re used to that. But usually when people yell at us, it’s because we’re displaying pictures of abortion victims. Not this time, however.
We decided to switch things up a bit and elected to display only beautiful photos of babies born and unborn to highlight the humanity of children in the womb. Wednesday also happened to be the Feast of the Annunciation, when we recall the conception of Jesus in the womb of His mother Mary — and we thought this was a perfect opportunity to show the beauty of every child from the moment of conception.
Yet even with only “nice” signs, some people, like the fellow mentioned above, were still offended by our message. Many others, however, offered us sincere words of thanks and commended us for our presence.
Chance encounter turns into a Chicago Sun-Times column
The first of our two sites is just a block east of Union Station, and so thousands upon thousands of commuters — see a time lapse video here — saw our signs on their way to work. Among them was Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, who stopped to chat with Pro-Life Action League national director Joe Scheidler. Despite the fact that the two of them don’t agree on much of anything, they’ve always liked each other.
Steinberg turned their conversation into a column that ran today, and it’s well worth reading. Titled “Meet My Pal, Joe,” it includes this gem of a line:
Maybe that’s why I like Joe. He’s battling for what he believes. The people who believe otherwise, well, they’re just sort of sitting there, letting it happen.
At 9:30 we moved on to the second of our two sites at LaSalle Street and Washington Street, outside City Hall, where our numbers were boosted by an influx of both longtime pro-life activists, as well as six members of the Crusaders for Life club who took time out of their spring break to join us for the very first time. A couple of them were intrepid enough to try their hand at passing out literature, which allowed us to distribute every single “Life before birth” brochure we’d brought with us.
We were also joined at this site by a young woman who said she had a very personal reason for coming out to support us: she has spina bifida, and when she was in utero, her mother had been urged to consider aborting her.
All in all, a successful LIFE Day!
- Joe Scheidler’s reflection on the Pro-Life Action League’s LIFE Day: Pro-Life Activism Brings Back Memories of Montgomery, 1965