One of the abortion lobby’s schemes to subvert pro-life state laws is to place abortion facilities i n abortion loving states on the borders of states with more limited abortion — which is why it’s important to celebrate a recent victory in protecting our pro-life border towns in Illinois achieved with the help of Students for Life Action, among other pro-life organizations.
Danville, Illinois, a town which sits on the Indiana and Illinois border, was recently targeted by the abortion industry to become an abortion destination for their pro-life neighbors across state lines — because good neighbors end the lives of children? I know; hard to follow. Abortion vendor Clinic for Women had purchased property in Danville with the intent of expanding their abortion business from their current facility in Indianapolis, Indiana into the state of Illinois.
(Click HERE to learn more about the Clinic for Women’s alleged shady business practices in an article from The Federalist entitled “Indiana Health Dept. Sits On Records Showing Two Babies Born Alive After Abortions, Three Women Dead.”)
However, the Pro-Life Generation wasn’t about to let that happen, and we won.
Here’s how we helped with this victory, and what it means:
To stop the unwanted abortion vendor from setting up shop in Danville, a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance was introduced to the city council, and prior to the vote, Students for Life Action (SFLAction) representatives Mary Carmen Zakrajsek and Tom Usle traveled to Danville to garner support for the ordinance. Along with Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas, they met with community leaders, council members, and the mayor of Danville to discuss the importance of passing this ordinance to prohibit abortion within city limits.
On the night of the vote, SFLAction saw just how important their advocacy was in making the decision.
Lobbying for the ordinance wasn’t enough, either — we showed up in full force for the vote on Tuesday, May 2. SFLAction team members showed up three hours early to claim almost all of the front row seats to show our unwavering support for the ordinance. Even with all those chairs, however, some still had to stand up as SFLAction brought at least 100 students from La Sallette Academy to pack the room.
Half of the students couldn’t even fit in the building so they countered the pro-abortion protest outside while students inside testified, urging the council members to have courage and vote yes.
This encouragement was greatly needed because multiple attempts were made to squash this ordinance. Pro-abortion protestors engaged in chants to intimidate the councilmen to vote no and even interrupted procedures falsely claiming that Illinois Attorney General Raoul was outside and was being prevented from entering the chamber (he wasn’t; the abortion lobby has a problem with lying). One council member also made a motion to remove the ordinance from the agenda all together in hopes of delaying this decision for weeks or months.
The Pro-Life Generation and community members made it clear, however, that Danville doesn’t have that kind of time. An abortion vendor is on the way in, and this is a matter of life and death.
Public testimony lasted for three hours, and during her time, Zakrajsek (an Indianapolis resident who has engaged in activism at the Clinic for Women for years) held up a heavy, large binder during her testimony, stating:
“Every sheet of paper in this binder represents one little boy or one little girl that was killed at Clinic for Women in my city in a span of just 75 DAYS. Look at the gravity of what we’re dealing with. Multiply this by 6 stacks and you will amount to the number of children who will be ERASED from history in Danville during the course of one year.”
When it came down to the vote, council members were tied 7 – 7, and guess who was the tiebreaker? The Mayor of Danville, who Zakrajsek and Usle had met with earlier in the week. After much grassroots work, he voted in favor, and the ordinance thankfully passed with an amendment. The amendment added that the ordinance will not go into effect until a court ruling affirms the Comstock Act. The fine print of the amendment reads,
“This chapter shall take effect when the city of Danville obtains a declaratory judgment from a court that it may enact and enforce an ordinance requiring compliance with the abortion-related provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 1461 and 18 U.S.C. § 1462, however those statutes are interpreted by the court, and the declaratory judgment becomes final upon the conclusion of direct appeals.”
What is the Comstock Act? SFLA reported earlier:
“First enacted in 1873, the Comstock Act said that the U.S. Postal Service could not be used to send pornography, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs or devices. Prohibitions against mailing contraception were dropped, some of them after court cases. But the law stands when it comes to stopping the mailing of abortifacients, defined as things with the intent of ending a pre-born life.”
You can read more about the Comstock Act and what it means for the pro-life strategy on the SFLA blog by clicking HERE.
We’re incredibly grateful for the ordinance’s passage. Through coalition efforts of SFLAction and other pro-life activists, the communities of Danville and Indianapolis were able to unite and make their voices clearly heard: Abortion vendors aren’t welcome in their backyards.