I had the privilege today of joining with dozens of other pro-life women, men and youth at the #WomenBetrayed Rally across from the Planned Parenthood Clinic at 18 South Michigan Street in Chicago. The rally was one of more than 50 rallies across the country protesting Planned Parenthood, whose practice of harvesting and selling fetal body parts was recently exposed by three undercover videos.
Speaking at the rally was Jessica Schuessler, someone who’s become a friend of mine since I spoke on abortion last summer at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL. Jessica emailed me soon after that talk and told me that she cried the whole way through my message because it was the first time she had faced the awful truth about the abortion she had gotten 19 years ago. That realization and a series of other events led Jessica to launch the Spread the Word Campaign – an initiative to deliver the book, “Deliver Us From Abortion” to every pastor in Illinois. Jessica, who was coerced by her mother to abort when she was just 14-years-old, delivered a powerful message about how abortion victimizes women.
“I never said yes. I never said no,” Jessica said of her abortion. “I never had any kind of response during those couple of days because I felt that I really had no choice.” When at the abortion clinic, Jessica said she received very little substantive counseling or screening. “Even though I was only 14 years old, I was never asked any kind of questions to screen for coercion, to see if I was there because I knew what was going on, because I wanted it to go on. I was only 14-years-old and I was never asked any questions about whether I was there as a victim of rape or incest.”
“My tax dollars and your tax dollars go to this evil organization. That has to end now. And, I’m so thankful for these videos to be coming out and showing the truth.” — Jessica Schuessler
As one might expect, the crowd at the rally today empathized with Jessica’s story and enthusiastically cheered when she urged them to defund Planned Parenthood. “My tax dollars and your tax dollars go to this evil organization,” she said. “That has to end now. And, I’m so thankful for these videos to be coming out and showing the truth.”
I was especially blessed to see many young people at the rally, including my daughter. (This is the second pro-life rally we’ve attended together.) One youth group from a Catholic church in Chicago functioned as cheerleaders for the crowd. (See video below.)
After the rally, I talked to several women, who expressed their feelings of betrayal by Planned Parenthood. Some of them are listed below. They’re a great reminder that abortion is never the solution – and the truth will set people free:
“I was pro-choice a long time ago when I was deceived and thought it was a blob of tissue and I bought into the lie from Planned Parenthood. . . . My heart changed when . . . a Catholic friend of mine showed a brochure that, I think, Pro-Life Action League put out at that time. And, I opened it to look at it and I saw an aborted fetus and I got sick. It was the first time I knew it was a baby. I was married and had two kids at the time! But, I was deceived and I think it’s easy to stay there and to stay in that mindset. And so, from that time on, I didn’t believe in abortion.” — Sandy Bradford
“I saw the videos and they really bothered me. And then I saw on Facebook that there was going to be a rally today and I thought, ‘I’ve been posting this stuff on Facebook and sharing the stories,’ but wanted to do more. . . . Women are told it’s just a blob of tissue, but how do you sell human organs from a blob of tissue? Ya know, that doesn’t even make sense. And, I think because of this video, they can no longer use that excuse. That’s totally invalid.” — Andrea Vanwie