SCHEIDLER - Joe Scheidler spoke at Pius X High School in Lincoln April 27 for the school’s annual pro-life conference. He has produced books and videos for the pro-life movement, and he is considered an expert on sidewalk counseling and outreach to abortionists. (SNR photo by S.L. Hansen)
LINCOLN (SNR) - On Tuesday, April 27, Joe Scheidler, the “Father of the Pro-Life Movement” spoke to students at Pius X High School in Lincoln for the school’s annual pro-life conference. The Pius X students were joined by their counterparts at Aquinas High School in David City and Bishop Neumann High School in Wahoo, who were bussed in to hear from this one-of-a kind speaker.
“We always do an all-school assembly for pro-life week,” said senior Melanie Stara, president of the Pius X Pro-Life club.
Joe Scheidler has written several books, including “CLOSED: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion.” He has produced a number of videos for the pro-life movement, and he is considered an expert on sidewalk counseling and outreach to abortionists.
Mr. Scheidler came to share his own experiences over the last 37 years he has been part of the pro-life cause, and to encourage the young people to take an active part in the pro-life movement. Even as he was introduced by Pius X principal Tom Korta, a group of university students who were peacefully protesting outside Lincoln’s Planned Parenthood abortion mill were being ticketed by police.
Mr. Scheidler said that the abortion “rights” proponents are taken aback by the passion and energy of young pro-life demonstrators.
“You scare them,” he said.
Mr. Scheidler described the positive effects of his efforts and those of tens of thousands like-minded others. Thousands of lives have been saved, and thousands of mothers have been spared the difficult aftermath of abortion, which includes depression, regret, broken relationships with the babies’ fathers, and even physical wounds.
“Ten percent of women become sterile after abortion,” Mr. Scheidler pointed out.
The pro-life movement has also influenced the abortion industry itself.
“There used to be 3,000 abortion clinics in this country… Now there are less than 600,” said Mr. Scheidler. “There used to be 2,000 doctors [performing abortions]…Now we’re down to around four or five hundred. Abortionists are quitting.”
To accomplish this, Mr. Scheidler and many others have had to risk personal attacks, arrests and legal action.
“It’s amazing how many times he’s been arrested,” said Gabriel Gutierrez, a junior at Pius X High School.
He related one charge against him that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Representatives from the abortion industry first attempted to squelch Mr. Scheidler with an anti-trust charge. When that didn’t work, they changed it to racketeering.
During that time period, he stopped into an abortion clinic to try to reason with the abortionist. However, the doctor was out, so Mr. Scheidler left a message on the back of his Actionbusiness card, “Sorry I missed you.”
This simple statement was seized upon by lawyers on the abortion “rights” side, who claimed it was a murderous threat.
The first jury believed them, and so did the appellate court. But when the case finally reached the Supreme Court, even traditionally pro-choice justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy argued that the claim was completely unfounded and that Mr. Scheidler had a right to free speech. He was exonerated in an 8 to 1 decision.
“I’m writing another book,” he told the students, “and the title is going to be ‘Sorry I Missed You.’”
After the chuckling subsided, he continued more soberly. “We are missing a lot of things we set out to do. We are missing abortionists. We are missing women. We are missing the men who are pressuring the women to abort. Because there aren’t enough people to do the work.”
Mr. Scheidler reiterated his commitment to help protect the unborn and end abortion in this country.
“I am not going to quit fighting until I die,” declared Mr. Scheidler. “This is a crisis… One-third of your classmates are not here because they were aborted.”
It was a statistic that sobered Nolan Border.
“That was kind of a surprise,” the junior Pius X student said after the assembly.
Mr. Scheidler offered other facts as well.
“Eighty percent of women would not have aborted if somebody cared about them,” he said, relating stories of women being physically pushed and pulled into abortion clinics, women who desperately needed somebody who could help them see that they could survive the pressure to abort.
The students were quiet and attentive throughout the presentation. They were shocked by the things they learned from their guest speaker.
“I didn’t know you could abort a baby until the day it was born,” said Elizabeth Bowman, a junior at Pius X High School.
“I was surprised at how much effect the pro-life movement has had,” added Mark Hugo, another Pius X junior. “It has closed the doors of abortion clinics.”
Mr. Scheidler encouraged each student in the audience to consider what they can do to assist in the fight against abortion.
“The pro-life movement is growing,” Mr. Scheidler had assured his audience. “It is growing because of young people like you.”