On June 7, the Pro-Life Action League hosted a hugely successful rally in Chicago celebrating Joseph Scheidler’s Supreme Court victory earlier this year and the return of free speech and free assembly rights of pro-lifers across America. More than 500 people attended the daytime rally and 550 the evening banquet at an event dubbed Bring America Back to Life.
Scheidler told The Interim the event was meant to “reinvigorate the pro-life activist movement” after winning back “the freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly of the whole movement.” In February, Scheidler won an 8-1 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the RICO conviction. Many of the rally’s participants held signs that said, simply, “8-1.”
Scheidler said that many pro-lifers were “nervous about coming out to abortion clinics” because of the threat of spurious RICO charges. The Supreme Court victory should be read, Scheidler said, as an invitation to the pro-life community to step up its activism against the abortuaries.
He said the victory celebration June 7 was meant to signal that “American stands for something: freedom.” He said that pro-lifers enjoy the freedoms as all Americans do.
More than 30 pro-life leaders addressed either the rally or the banquet including Fr. Paul Marx, formerly of Human Life International, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Pastor Ed Martin of Rescue America, Nelly Gray of the March for Life Fund, former abortionist Dr. Beverley McMillan, Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics Inc., Jim Hughes of Campaign Life Coalition, Fr. Tom Eutenueur of Human Life International and Bernie Smyth of Precious Life in Northern Irelend.
The rally was held across the street from the Seventh Circuit courthouse where Scheidler was convicted of racketeering in April 1998.