One of the windows broken at Pro-Life Action League staffer John Jansen’s home, Jan. 28
Shortly after I left for work last Thursday morning, January 28, my wife Jocelyn went downstairs to the basement of our home and noticed that it was unusually cold.
She then realized that someone had thrown chunks of cinder block through two of our basement windows, one of which was, rather ironically, wrapped inside a black plastic bag with the words, “Thank you.”
Jocelyn immediately called the police to report the incident, and when an officer arrived at our house, one of the first questions he asked was, “Is somebody mad at you?” To which my wife replied, “Well, my husband works for a pro-life organization.” (Which is to say: “Yes.”)
The officer was baffled as to why someone would bother to wrap one of the chunks in a plastic bag. And if one, then why not the other one too?
My first thought, however, was that this was a lot like what had happened to Pro-Life Action League founders Joe and Ann Scheidler when their house was vandalized in 2010. In their case, vandals wrapped a chunk of asphalt in a plastic bag and threw it through their living room window, along with a note saying, “We are crazy feminist[s] … who will destroy your sexist ideas.”
In our case, however, there was no note. So while we obviously had a hunch that our house was targeted specifically because of my work at the Pro-Life Action League, there was no way to be certain. It could have simply been a random act of vandalism, or else the perpetrators could have intended to hit another house but hit ours by mistake.
Two Acts of Vandalism against Chicago Area Pro-Lifers in the Same Week
But after I found out yesterday that my longtime pro-life friend Jill Stanek also recently had a chunk of cinder block thrown through the front window in her — less than 30 miles away from our home near Chicago — it seems that the attack on our house last week was no fluke.
In her case, the chunk of cinder block thrown through her front window was also wrapped in a plastic bag, and a note was included in hers that read, “Quit the pro-life bulls***.”
Jill discovered the vandalism at her house late Sunday night, but she had been out of town for several days, so it’s unclear when the attack on her house occurred. In any case, though, it’s clear that it was, at most, within just a few days of when our house was hit, and both our homes may have even been hit the same night.
And when you look at the chunks of cinder block that was thrown through Jill’s window (left) and one of those thrown through one of our windows (right), it seems even more certain that the same person or persons were responsible for both attacks:
A Small Price to Pay
In the wake of last week’s incident, I was prompted to recall a story I had come across a few days after this year’s March for Life, in which a student from Franciscan University of Steubenville commented that being stuck on a bus for over 24 hours on the Pennsylvania Turnpike following a blizzard “was nothing compared to the tremendous sufferings of the unborn who undergo the pains of abortion.”
Make no mistake, having our home attacked is unsettling, and replacing a couple of windows will involve some cost and inconvenience, but at the end of the day, it’s a small price to pay for the sake of our unborn brothers and sisters.
Will these acts of vandalism intimidate my wife and me, or the Pro-Life Action League, or Jill Stanek, or anyone else in the pro-life movement?
Hardly. On the contrary, attacks like this serve only to strengthen our resolve.