Bishop Daniel Conlon calls the faithful to conduct pro-life activism with love. [Photo by Matt Yonke]
October 2 marked the sixth anniversary of the dark day when Planned Parenthood opened their first "mega-clinic" in Aurora, Illinois.
The Pro-Life Action League was there with over 150 local pro-lifers to mark the anniversary and re-commit ourselves to the ongoing fight against the facility.
Back in the summer of 2007, the League learned that a building under construction in Aurora—the same town where our Executive Director Eric Scheidler lives—was to be the site of a new abortion clinic.
Not only was there a new clinic in the works, only months from opening, but it was the first of Planned Parenthood's new mega-centers—large, regional clinics meant to replace multiple other abortion facilities in an area and consolidate their business.
Over the next several months the League directed a massive wave of public outcry against the facility with thousands coming out to pray, protest and speak to the City Council. In the end, the facility was allowed to open, but opposition to its presence in Aurora has continued steadily ever since. [Continue reading . . . »]
Though the fall 40 Days for Life campaign kicked off yesterday nationwide, we got an early start here in Aurora, Illinois with an early opening ceremony last Saturday.
It was a beautiful morning as over 100 pro-lifers gathered on the vacant lot across from Planned Parenthood's mega-center, and Fr. Matt Lamoureux of St. Patrick Church in nearby Yorkville, Illinois opened the service in prayer.
There were weeks of prayer and protest, candlelight vigils, City Council meetings lasting until the wee hours of the morning, court hearings, and nationwide news coverage.
And Planned Parenthood's Steve Trombley famously said that once their "health center" opened, we'd all give up and go away.
He was wrong.
Six years later, we're still there. We're still praying outside Planned Parenthood's doors, still protesting their illegal abortion center, still reaching out to their clients with real help.
Please join us on Wednesday, October 2, to thank God for giving blessing us with the grace to continue this life-saving pro-life work in Aurora.
Joining us will be Most Reverend Daniel Conlon, Bishop of the Diocese of Joliet, along with other special guests. Here are all the details: [Continue reading . . . »]
Here at the Pro-Life Action League, we put a lot of time and resources into organizing "clinic witness" presence where people stand in prayer outside abortion clinics nationwide. Stories like Maddox's are why.
Maddox is the adorable baby boy on the left in the photo. The building on the right is where Maddox nearly lost his life.
This is an e-mail I received recently:
Hi, my name is Stacy and I wanted to thank your group for saving my baby. I went to that terrible facility [Planned Parenthood in Aurora, Illinois] on a cold Saturday morning in November, scared to death and the first thing I saw driving in was the pro-life advocates standing in the lawn at 7am. [Continue reading . . . »]
Planned Parenthood Aurora in the fall of 2007, shortly after opening [Photo by Eric Scheidler]
Yesterday, DuPage County Judge Paul Fullerton dismissed a zoning lawsuit against the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Aurora, Illinois that has been ongoing for nearly six years.
In 2007, the Pro-Life Action League was notified that Planned Parenthood was building the largest abortion clinic in the nation in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Illinois. Coincidentally, Aurora is the hometown of League Executive Director Eric Scheidler.
From the moment we heard the news, opposing the opening of this facility became the League's central project, and opposing their operation with prayer, protest and sidewalk counseling remains a large part of our mission.
One of the avenues we pursued in attempting to shut down this abortion mega-center was a lawsuit against the City of Aurora and Planned Parenthood for improper zoning of the facility. The center sits in a business district where the operation of a non-profit health facility like Planned Parenthood is specifically prohibited. [Continue reading . . . »]
Last week the trial of Naperville, Illinois resident Michael Fabian (right) concluded with a guilty plea to a charge of "improper lane usage."
Fabian, 25, was accused of swerving his car at a teenaged sidewalk counselor as he exited the parking lot of Planned Parenthood in Aurora, Illinois last February.
As we reported at the time here and here, local high school student Hannah M. was sidewalk counseling at Planned Parenthood in Aurora after the monthly protest at the facility, when a car exiting the Planned Parenthood lot swerved at Hannah, nearly hitting her.
Aurora police investigated and discovered the driver to be Fabian, but declined to press charges. Fortunately, DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin took up the case and charged Fabian with misdemeanor aggravated assault, which carries penalties as high as one year in jail. [Continue reading . . . »]
Students from Christian Liberty Academy reach out to abortion-bound mothers at Planned Parenthood Aurora [Photo by Eric Scheidler]
It was a beautiful morning for this past Saturday's monthly protest at the Planned Parenthood mega-center in Aurora, Illinois. The Pro-Life Action League has hosted a protest there every month for the past five years and more since the "Abortion Fortress" opened in 2007.
Among the dozens of stalwart pro-lifers sacrificing time from their weekends to fight abortion was a large group of teens from Christian Liberty Academy, whose youthful zeal for the cause of life has become a regular feature of these monthly protests.
Several months ago, a Planned Parenthood client aggressively swerved his car at one of the CLA students and is now facing aggravated assault charges, as reported in today's Chicago Sun-Times. The unfortunate incident did nothing to diminish the determination and activism of these dedicated pro-life students.
On the picket line at Planned Parenthood Aurora [Photo by Eric Scheidler]
Response from passersby seemed more pronounced than usual, especially from those showing their support, possibly because of the prominence of abortion in the news during the Kermit Gosnell trial and subsequent guilty verdict.
At the conclusion of the protest, I offered prayers of thanksgiving to God for giving each of us the grace not only to recognize the evil of abortion for what it is, but to come out on the street and actively do something about it—as we've been doing for more than five years in Aurora.
On Good Friday, pro-lifers from every Christian background gathered at their local abortion facilities to pray "A Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion."
This moving ecumenical service offers prayers for children in the womb, mothers, fathers, abortion workers and our whole nation in union with the suffering of Christ in His Passion.
As we celebrate the Easter season, check out some pictures from these services from across the country. If you attended a Way of the Cross on Good Friday and don't see pictures here, e-mail them to us and we'll add them to the slideshow! (Take the slideshow into fullscreen mode and click "Show Info" to see the location of each photo):
The massive Planned Parenthood abortuary in Aurora, Illinois, was the scene of a dynamic, multi-faceted protest Saturday morning. It was my privilege to coordinate the monthly picket of the facility at the corner of New York Street and Oakhurst Avenue, dedicated this month to the conversion of abortion workers. The League has invited pro-lifers across the country to dedicate special prayers and fasting for this intention.
Meanwhile, in front of the Planned Parenthood facility two busloads of students from Christian Liberty Academy under the direction of David Berquist fanned out with beautiful LIFE signs and offered goodie bags to Planned Parenthood clients, including baby booties and information on the nearby Waterleaf Women's Center.
Among the students was the courageous Hannah M., who was threatened by a speeding motorist at last month's protest. The motorist—a Planned Parenthood client—has been charged with aggravated assault.
As the CLA students and regular sidewalk counseling team reached out to Planned Parenthood clients, a large group with the Knights of Columbus Council 1369 from Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Naperville prayed a Rosary for Life.
All told, about sixty pro-lifers were on the scene Saturday, braving chilly winds to share the pro-life message, offer help to Planned Parenthood clients and keep the abortion issue before the public eye.
On a bleak Friday afternoon, our savior Jesus Christ was crucified at Golgotha, "the place of the skull." Today, we have our own Golgotha: the abortion clinic, where two thousand years after the Crucifixion, His image is violently destroyed, again and again, by abortion.
That's why, for the last five years, the Pro-Life Action League has marked Good Friday with a pro-life "Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion" at our local Planned Parenthood.
We've found this activity to be such a blessing, one of our favorite pro-life activities of the year. So this year we're calling on pro-lifers like you nationwide to join us in hosting a "Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion" at your local abortion facility.
And, we're providing you with all the tools you need to make it happen in your area, including an ecumenical prayer service book, templates to promote your event through e-mail and in churches, advice on practical considerations and more!
Though the devotion of the Stations of the Cross has Catholic roots, the service we conduct is completely ecumenical. People of every denomination join us every year and there is no material in the book that would be offensive to non-Catholics to pray. Please feel free to join or host a Way of the Cross no matter what your denomination. [Continue reading . . . »]
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