Despite being called out by all six Illinois Catholic bishops, Quinn obstinately disobeyed and presented the award.
Bearing protest signs reading, Shame on Pro-Abort “Catholic” Quinn and Personal PAC = Abortion, League staff and volunteers staked positions outside all the entrances to the Chicago Hilton and Towers where the event was held.
The League also brought graphic images of aborted babies to make it absolutely clear what the euphemism of “choice” is covering up.
Sidewalk Chalk Puts Abortion on Guests Minds
Prior to the protest, League staff wrote, “Abortion Is Murder” in chalk on all the sidewalks approaching the Hilton so that anyone coming on foot would have the reality of abortion firmly in their minds.
The Hilton staff were visibly edgy about the presence of protesters and even went so far as to send their janitorial staff to mop up the League’s chalk art—a clear violation of our freedom of speech. Not only that, they sent their staff off their own property to wipe away our message on adjoining streets!
Fortunately, the signs and the huge presence of pro-lifers got the message through loud and clear.
Media Get Firsthand Story of Rape Pregnancy
Governor Quinn was giving the “Pro-Choice Leadership Award” to one Jennie Goodman. Goodman, whose mother is a Personal PAC board member, was raped many years ago and did not become pregnant.
Given that Brady had a solid lead in the polls before the ad ran, many believe the ad swayed enough voters on the fence to hand the election to Quinn. He was essentially presenting her an award for using the sensitive issue of rape to make him governor.
But the League brought the other side of the story. Mary Higgins was raped at age 18 and did become pregnant. She was actually faced with the choice that Goodman never had to make—what to do with her rapist’s baby.
Mary chose life for her baby, gave her up for adoption and came to have a loving relationship with her years later. This was the story she shared with the media who came to the protest. It was a story of life and hope and it was great to hear a firsthand witness against the common assumption that every rape victim desires abortion.
Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Mary said:
I am here to represent women who are victims of sexual assault who chose life and to point out that the decision to take the life of a human being is never the answer to a violent crime. Where in the world do we punish innocent children for the sins and the violence of their father?
Reporters also spoke with League National Director Joe Scheidler for his perspective on the issue.
Virulent Outbursts and Paltry Counter-Measures
The League’s peaceful, effective pro-life presence was met with bizarre outbursts and laughably ineffective counter-measures from pro-choicers.
Others threw out the old non-sequitur of asking how many babies pro-lifers have adopted, as if adopting born babies is somehow a requirement to stand up for the right of babies in the womb to not be dismembered and killed.
Two Personal PAC operatives came out with signs reading, Cardinal George: Stop Attacking Rape Victims. These referred to Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, who led the Illinois bishops in calling Quinn to avoid this pro-abortion event.
Some in the press tried to make it out as if the Cardinal was attacking Goodman, the rape victim, instead of calling Quinn, a soul in his charge, to repent of his sin. George made his position clear in many media interviews, but Personal PAC continued to twist the truth to their advantage.
But their ranks did not grow and their signs were the only two amidst the sea of pro-lifers. Even those were misinterpreted by some passersby as being on our side!
League Debuts New Pro-Life Literature
The League was happy to debut a new piece of pro-life literature we’ve been working on for some time at today’s protest.
A brochure, entitled, Abortion for Victims of Rape and Incest? No! They Deserve Better was stapled to a flyer explaining the reasons for the protest [PDF] and handed out to passersby and media. A PDF of the brochure can be seen here.
The brochure contains testimony of victims of rape and incest who testify that they did not want to abort their baby since it was the only good thing to come out of the horrible experience.
It reports that a shockingly low 6% of rape and incest victims believe abortion would be a good solution to their problems. In fact, 93% of those who chose abortion said it had not been a good solution to their problems and that they would not recommend it to others in their situation!
I was happy at the end of the protest to see that our entire first run of the brochure had been distributed!
Protest Showed the Truth, Called Quinn to Account
The protest was a great success all in all. Though Governor Quinn did not arrive during the protest, doubtless hoping to avoid it, the League accomplished our objectives.
The media and Personal PAC’s guests saw the truth of abortion and the lie was put to the pro-choice myth that abortion helps rape and incest victims.
Governor Quinn doubtless heard about the protest, but if the public opprobrium of every bishop in the state of Illinois was not enough to call him to his senses and to repentance, it’s hard to say if anything could.
Thanks to all the stalwart volunteers who made this protest a great success. Check back to this post for media reports. We’ll post them as they become available.
LifeNews Note: Matt Yonke writes for the Pro-Life Action League.