Posted by Matt Yonke on Monday, April 28th, 2008
UPDATES: Pictures from the rally are available on the Pro-Life Action League's Flickr page. If you took video at the rally, post a "video response" to Eric's Video Invite on YouTube. Also, several Balloon Reports have come in.
Winds ripped across the vacant lot outside Planned Parenthood Aurora Saturday morning, April 26, making the spring morning feel unseasonably cold. But a chill in the air was not enough to keep the Fox Valley's pro-life community from coming out in droves to stand up for unborn babies and their mothers.
Over 400 people came out to Families Against Planned Parenthood's "It's a Matter of Life and Death" rally to protest the presence of Planned Parenthood in their community. The rally featured a picket line of New York St., a peaceful prayer presence all over the area, and huge displays showing the beauty of life and the horror of abortion.
New York St. was lined with huge pictures of babies, both born and unborn, on the south side and graphic pictures of babies lost to abortion on the north side. These signs presented a jarring contrast that made clear the truth that abortion is the murder of an innocent child. Reactions from passing motorists was mixed. As usual, the pro-choice drivers by and large yelled profanity and gave rude hand gestures while pro-lifers offered blessings and waves.
On Oakhurst Dr. just north of Planned Parenthood a "Cemetery for Choice" was displayed. Tombstones were set up with the names and details of women who have lost their lives to the deadly hands of the abortionist. It was a somber sight to see people walking amongst the tombstones, praying for these women and their babies and for an end to abortion. These tombstones represented only fifty of the hundreds of women who have died due to legal abortion.
Just like every day Planned Parenthood is open, sidewalk counselors were stationed across the street from the facility to try to reach women patronizing Planned Parenthood in the crucial moments before they enter the building, and to offer help and support when they come out.
Eric Scheidler, communications director for the Pro-Life Action League, spoke to the gathered crowd. After a show of hands of those who were at a rally at Planned Parenthood for the first time, Eric encouraged pro-lifers by reminding them of Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard. Some came early in the day, others came later, but they all did their best and were rewarded by God. In the same way, some have been in the pro-life movement for years, some are just getting involved, but they all came when God called them and will be blessed by God for standing up for His little ones.
The rally ended on a high note with a commemoration of babies who have been saved from abortion. Here at Planned Parenthood Aurora, at least a dozen mothers that we know of have chosen life because of our prayer and counseling presence here, and that’s just a fraction of the babies that have been saved across America by the efforts of pro-life ministries. To celebrate the lives of these babies, pink and blue helium balloons were distributed and pro-lifers tagged their balloons with a name for one of these babies. The balloons were released together in a beautiful display of the joy of life and the success of the pro-life movement.
When Planned Parenthood Aurora first opened its doors, pro-lifers protested their opening in huge numbers. At the time, Planned Parenthood’s Steve Trombley predicted that in a few months, everyone would forget about Planned Parenthood and go back to the normal activities that fill their Saturdays. What Trombley doesn’t understand is that, for him, abortion is a matter of business, but pro-lifers know the truth: Abortion is a Matter of Life and Death. We haven’t gone away yet, and we’re not going anywhere till Planned Parenthood gets out of Aurora.