Leaders from over 20 pro-life groups will meet in Illinois today to brainstorm a massive strategy to shut down an organization that has become the epitome of everything they are against.
The pro-life advocates represent lawyers, students and veterans of the cause who have dedicated their lives to defend the lives of "unborn" or "pre-born" babies, otherwise known to the other camp as merely fetuses.
Meeting in Rosemont for "Planned Parenthood: BAD for America," representatives will each bring to the table a different strategy emphasis that will contribute toward a draft joint resolution, which is expected to outline a plan to de-fund and shut down Planned Parenthood, according to an announcement this week.
Planned Parenthood is the nation's single largest abortion provider. The organization receives $300 million taxpayer dollars a year for reproductive health services that in many cases include abortion. Many pro-life advocates have criticized the background of Planned Parenthood as being founded by eugenics supporter Margaret Sanger.
Eric Scheidler, communications director of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League, which is organizing the meeting, said the growth of Planned Parenthood is cause for concern.
"Even as the abortion rate declines nationally, Planned Parenthood's abortion numbers are on the rise - and now Planned Parenthood has launched a major expansion, aggressively targeting the young and vulnerable of our nation," stated Scheidler in a statement.
"Today more than ever, the pro-life movement must stand together to oppose Planned Parenthood."
Scheidler is no stranger to efforts aimed at uprooting local branches of the organization. Last year, he led protests directed at a massive new Planned Parenthood facility that was up for installment in his group's backyard, Aurora.
On Thursday, Scheidler is taking his campaign against Planned Parenthood to an unprecedented level as he joins in coalition with leading advocates in the pro-life movement, including his father, Joe Scheidler.
The meeting will include addresses by several renowned pro-life advocates.
Tom Brejcha, chief counsel of Thomas More Society/Pro-Life Law Center, will share his group's experience in handling both state and federal court cases against Planned Parenthood in a session entitled, "Fighting Planned Parenthood in the Courtroom."
In "Exposing the True Face of Planned Parenthood to the American Public," Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America, will discuss Planned Parenthood's willingness to accept racially motivated donations through a series of widely viewed YouTube videos.
The pro-life roundtable will also devote time to hear from Jim Sedlak, executive director of STOPP Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading Planned Parenthood watchdog group, as he talks about the abortion provider's expansion effort in "Planned Parenthood's Vision for the Future."
For Scheidler, there is strength in numbers.
"Planned Parenthood is a huge organization, flush with cash," he said, "but no enemy is too big when we work together."
Correction: Thursday, September 18, 2008:
An article on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, about a pro-life coalition holding a meeting to create a plan to shut down Planned Parenthood incorrectly reported the name of the founder of Planned Parenthood as Margaret Thatcher. The founder's name is Margaret Sanger, not Thatcher.