A Chicago-based pro-life group has started its annual summer campaign running from July 6-14 and its members hope to show Americans the reality of abortion by displaying signs with graphic images of aborted babies, which they say often upsets parents more than they do children.
Pro-Life Action League members are using their "Face the Truth" tour to send a message loud and clear to residents – abortion is wrong, and the images of the victims should be seen by everyone. Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, shared with The Christian Post in a phone interview on Friday that he understands parents' concerns who do not want their children exposed to such graphic and disturbing images – but says often times that reflects more on the parents being uncomfortable with their own stance on abortion rather than the type of images their children can handle.
"We are sensitive to that concern. That's why we always set up warning signs, so that traffic approaching the intersection where our signs are on display can be able to choose to avoid seeing them," Scheidler said.
"I grew up looking at abortion signs; my children have all seen abortion signs. I have found that children are much more upset when their parents freak out over the signs rather than by the signs themselves. The signs should be disturbing, they should be distressing, and children should react in a normal human way when the signs bother them. But when they are told that people are showing those ugly signs because they want to stop babies from being hurt, that helps a great deal to reconcile any trouble that they may have with it," he added.
"Children are naturally pro-life. And I think that is what angers parents more than the signs themselves – the fact that the parent cannot justify their support for abortion to a child who has seen what it is."
Scheidler revealed that his group, which was founded in 1980 with the aim of tackling abortion in the United States by exposing people to the images of abortion, has been doing this tour for the past 13 years in the Chicago area, where they are headquartered. "The idea is to awaken the conscience of America to the injustice that abortion does to the unborn child," he said. The league's efforts have resulted in the closing of eight abortion clinics in Chicago alone and nearly 100 across the country.
Scheidler shared that Chicago is the main testing area for their campaign, but that they have also done tours in Baltimore, Montana, Texas, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, around the D.C area, and even as far away as New Zealand.
He noted that the type of reactions they get on the abortion images they show vary from place to place – but acknowledged that there is a definite division among racial and income-level lines on how people feel toward the issue.
"When we go to very affluent, very mainstream areas, especially communities that are predominantly Caucasian and wealthy, we get very negative reactions – we get swearing and screaming, calls to the police for complaints – but even then there are people in those communities who are eager to see this issue being presented," he revealed.
"Communities that are more racially mixed, minority communities and poorer parts of the Chicago area – we get much more positive responses. We don't get the same degree of hostility," Scheidler added.
On the question of why his group receives such different responses from these different communities, Scheidler noted that it is difficult to come up with a concrete reason, but still had some suggestions.
"I have noticed that that community (affluent Caucasians) tends to insist that abortion is morally natural, that it's a choice, that the unborn child has no value that we need to take into account. They want to believe that there is nothing morally wrong with abortion," he positioned.
"In minority communities, we tend to find that people think abortion is morally wrong even when they have been involved in abortion. We will go to a black community and we will get 'Yeah it's wrong, but I had no choice, I had to.' They are not trying to justify abortion by saying that abortion is not wrong," Scheidler said.
Pro-Life Action League's executive director noted that religion also plays a difference – communities considered more religious were more positive toward their campaign. He affirmed that the range of positive responses they receive go from simple approvals to donations to their cause – and shared of a relevant story that shows, in his view, that the tactics they use by displaying the graphic images of aborted babies are indeed successful.
"Last year we had this couple who were walking down the street, and they had just found out that they were pregnant, and they were actually in the middle of talking about whether they should get an abortion or not. They were looking for a sign – and when they turned the corner, there was that sign. A bunch of abortion pictures showing them what they would be choosing if they chose abortion. They stopped to talk with some of our volunteers, and we were able to get them connected to a pregnancy center," he shared. "So that's the kind of reaction that we're most excited about."
The group also have an extensive Q&A on their official website where they explain their stance on how abortion should be looked at in cases of rape or incest, as well as their views on the death penalty, euthanasia, and various other issues concerning human life.