An Illinois city council rejected a request Tuesday to approve the construction of a fence around an abortion facility to prevent pro-lifers from reaching out to women with information, support and prayer.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Granite City Council of Aldermen narrowly rejected the request in a 5-5 vote with Mayor Ed Hagnauer casting the tie-breaking sixth vote against it.
The request came from the Hope Clinic, an abortion facility near the border of Missouri. Around since 1974, it advertises abortions up to 24 weeks (unborn babies are viable outside the womb around 22 weeks now). The abortion facility also tells women how to get Illinois taxpayers to pay for their abortions through Medicaid.
According to the report, Alison Drieth, deputy director of Hope Clinic, and attorney Stephanie Sheley said they want to build a fence to protect patients from “protesters” outside the building. Abortion activists claimed pro-lifers have been verbally and physically aggressive toward patients.
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But Peggy Dresden of Faith and Freedom Family Ministry said pro-lifers are just offering support to mothers and babies, and a fence could prevent them from informing women about their options, the newspaper reports.
Hagnauer said he voted against the fence because of Dresden’s testimony. According to the report, they mayor “said he was not comfortable being the person who blocks the opportunity for a woman to change her mind about abortion.”
Abortion activists claim to be pro-choice, but their efforts often block women from accessing any “choice” except abortion. They construct fences around abortion facilities and lobby city councils to enact buffer zones to prevent pro-lifers from coming within a certain distance from the facility. They also attack the work of pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer free pregnancy and parenting support services to hundreds of thousands of families each year.
With very few exceptions, pro-life sidewalk counselors are peaceful, compassionate volunteers who dedicate their time to offering hope to mothers and babies in need. They provide information about local resources, an unborn baby’s development, the risks of abortion and the alternatives to abortion. And they do help save lives.
This summer, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, a Christian organization that trains sidewalk counselors to conduct peaceful, loving pro-life outreach outside abortion facilities, announced that its volunteers have helped 10,000 mothers choose life for their unborn babies since 2014.