A pro-life group is planning a special holiday protest against abortion in Chicago by visiting different abortion clinics throughout the city to sing Christmas carols. The purpose of the protest is to remind women seeking abortions of the story of Mary and Jesus and to ask the question: "Would Planned Parenthood have aborted Jesus?"
Pro-Life Action League sent out an announcement, about its plans for the 11th annual "Empty Manger Christmas Caroling Day," during which members of the pro-life group will visit five abortion facilities in Chicago and another four in Du Page County on Dec. 21. The protesters will reportedly gather in front of each abortion clinic and surround an empty manger while singing their carols.
The group's executive director, Eric Scheidler, said in a statement that the carolers' singing has served to change women's minds on abortion in the past, as it reminds them of the baby Jesus. The carolers will sing such Christmas classics as "What Child is This?" and "Away in the Manger."
"It has happened before," Scheidler recalled. "We were singing 'Silent Night' outside of a Chicago abortion clinic when a young woman came out, approached one of our carolers, and said that our singing made her think about Mary and baby Jesus and she just couldn't go through with her abortion."
The executive director went on to say that the symbolism behind the empty manger prop is two-fold. It reminds abortion-seeking women of the baby Jesus, but it is also a reference to the emptiness women can experience after intentionally terminating their child. "The empty manger has been a symbol of hope through the centuries, placed in the Christmas crèche in anticipation of the birth of the Christ child celebrated at Christmas."
"But the empty manger also represents the emptiness left behind by abortion – the emotional and spiritual vacuum where a baby once was. We don't want any woman to experience that, and that's why we'll be there to offer our message of hope."
The caroling protest has gained widespread popularity in cities besides Chicago throughout the years, and similar protests have previously been held in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Texas.
Pro-Life Action League outlines why it believes sidewalk protesting is important on its website. "Through prayer vigils outside abortion facilities and sidewalk counseling, we reach out to abortion-bound women and couples with abortion alternatives, confidential counseling, access to pregnancy resources and other help, and witness to the value of the lives being destroyed inside.
"We believe sidewalk counseling is the most important pro-life work God has given us to do. Praying outside abortion clinics is the first step in becoming directly involved fighting abortion."