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  • Megann Horstead

Pro-life demonstrators take to the streets of Joliet

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s announcement of his pick for Supreme Court nominee Monday, demonstrators took to the streets of Joliet to promote the pro-life cause.

People gathered at the intersection of Caton Farm Road and Route 59 in Joliet.

The demonstration was one of three held in the Joliet area.

The group Pro-Life Action League organized the Chicago area events, which began today and continue through July 14.

“Our goal is to build sympathy for victims of abortions,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director for the Pro-Life Action League. “It’s always important [to support the cause]. There are 2,400-2,500 babies aborted every single day on average. It’s important to raise awareness right now, with Congress about to consider a Supreme Court nominee. The moment Anthony Kennedy resigned, it was all about abortions.”

Those at the demonstration held up signs with the images of unborn babies and messages of support for the pro-life cause.

Some people passed by expressing support for the group’s agenda, while others reacted in opposition.

Among those volunteering at the event was Naperville resident Renata Sliva. She said she felt compelled to show her support for the cause because she wants people to know the truth about abortions.

“I’ve been against abortions, but I didn’t know the truth,” she said. “If people knew the truth, they’d be against it.”

Sliva said she has a son who was born three months early and that drove her to rethink her position on the issue.

Teresa Jansen, 15, of Berwyn, said the group had drawn a number of reactions—positive and negative—from people driving through the area.

“I’ve gotten used to it,” she said.

Jansen said she remains motivated to show her support for the pro-life cause.

“Something must be done,” she said. “Someone must stand up.”

Some experts have called into question the future of Roe vs. Wade, a landmark decision of 1973 that restricted access to abortions.

Scheidler shared that sentiment, saying the ruling hangs in balance, as do the lives of children.

“It’s not just a case, a supreme court ruling or a political issue, it’s a question of the value of life for thousands of unborn sisters and brothers,” he said.

Scheidler said out of Trump’s list of Supreme Court nominees, he is most impressed by Amy Coney Barrett, a former University of Notre Dame law professor.

“We’ve had a case before her,” he said. “In Price vs. City of Chicago, we’re suing the City of Chicago over a bubble zone law. It’s a restriction on our first amendment rights outside clinics. [It stipulates that] you can’t approach a client within eight feet. The case is in front of the seventh judicial circuit court, and we want to get it struck down.”

Sliva hopes their effort to take to the streets of Joliet will not be for naught.

“That’s why we have to go in the streets,” she said, noting that she’s been active member in her church for years. “I hadn’t heard a peep about March for Life in church or in the media. It’s funny that in the age of information, we don’t know a lot of things.”

For more information on the demonstrations, visit