Seventy activists with the Pro-Life Action League lined East Wacker
Drive in downtown Chicago across from the Hyatt Regency during
President Barack Obama's address to the physician delegates of the
American Medical Association June 15. Obama used the ocassion to
encourage doctors to support his health care plan, and the League was
there to deliver a simple message: "Abortion is not health care."
The pro-life protestors held graphic abortion signs depicting "Baby Malachi",
aborted at 21 weeks, with the caption "Abortion is not health care," as
well as Stop Abortion Now signs.
League's Lightning Mobilization
Police protect protesters' 1st Amendment rights
[Photo by Sam Scheidler]
Turnout for the protest was especially high considering the League only
learned about the Obama speech late on Thursday morning, June 11, when
the A.M.A. put out a press release. League Staff immediately jumped
into action upon hearing the news.
While League Communications Director Eric Scheidler drafted a press release,
alerted activists of the planned protest through e-mail and designed a flyer,
other League staff phoned 200 local activists to invite them to attend
"The overwhelming response to today's protest is indicative of how
energized the pro-life movement is in 2009," Scheidler remarked. "They
can see how high the stakes are right now, with the most pro-abortion
president in U.S. history in the White House, and a pro-abortion
The heavy turnout by pro-lifers was in stark contrast to the handful of
gay marriage and anti-war activists who were also protesting in the
barricaded protest on the north side of Wacker Drive.
League Calls on Obama To Keep
His Pledge To Reduce Abortion
The League used the occassion of Obama's speach to the A.M.A. to call
on him to follow through on his pledge, issued during his commencement address
at Notre Dame,
to work to reduce abortion. "It is time for President Obama to join the
pro-life movement in providing compassion and support to the thousands
of women in the United States faced with unintended pregnancies who
think abortion is their only option," said Scheidler.
Specifically, the League called on Obama to ensure any reform of the
nation’s health care system will:
* Provide support to the 3,000 pro-life pregnancy
across the country struggling to meet the needs of pregnant women.
* Withdraw federal funding from the nation's largest
provider, Planned Parenthood, which receives $349,600,000 of taxpayers'
money every year.
* Maintain strong conscience protections for doctors
health professionals so they are free to care for their patients
without taking part in abortion.
"We invite President Obama to reconsider his position on abortion,"
said Scheidler. "But whatever his stand, we can still work together to
offer women and families the help and hope they need to choose life."
League Gets the Inside Story at
Representing the League's Action News, assistant communications
director Matt Yonke secured a press pass and watched Obama's speech
from inside the hotel. He also spoke with several physicians attending
the convention and got the inside story on health care reform.
It was clear that the majority of doctors, regardless of political
affiliation, saw an urgent need for changes to the current health care
system, but most thought President Obama wouldn't get it right, at
least not the first time around. Some are certain his plan will only
worsen and already bad situation, while others were more hopeful that
the plan could succeed with amendments along the way.
One of the doctors Yonke interviewed revealed that the A.M.A. was
likely to endorse so-called "comprehensive" sex education at the
convention. While a final vote was yet to be taken, the stiff
resistance that met previous campaigns for such an endorsement had
evaporated, with only three out of eighteen doctors speaking on the
measure opposing the endorsement.
Clearly the pro-life movement has a tremendous task ahead convincing
both the medical community and our politicians to respect the sanctity
of life and the sacred gift of marriage. The June 15 protest was one
more step forward in that process.
Source: Pro-Life Action League
Date: June 20, 2009
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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in
Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state
coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of
Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our
society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political
persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic
backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has
been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the
human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection
for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.