Matt C. Abbott
Supporting those 'in the trenches'
By Matt C. Abbott
July 5, 2010

A reader recently wrote (edited):

"In my personal humble opinion, there are bigger fish to fry than to pay attention to what is going on at the Rockford abortion mill. The owner can display whatever he wants in his windows and it should not deter pro-life demonstrations whatsoever. There is an old saying, 'Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me.' Those whining about the displays need to grow up. Though putrid, the displays of bad taste need to be ignored. Here are some bigger issues that need to be tackled....To me, these four events are the ones that need to be addressed, not the shenanigans at the Rockford mill which, if history proves correctly, will eventually shut down due to lack of either funds or 'customers.'"

The four events the reader mentioned in the above e-mail, which I've chosen not to list, are indeed interesting and widely known. But it bothers me that the reader, who is pro-life, essentially dismisses what "in the trenches" pro-lifers have been experiencing in Rockford, Ill.

Which is why I believe it's important to reiterate my support for said pro-lifers: crisis pregnancy center counselors, sidewalk counselors, abortion mill prayer warriors, and those organizations that support them.

I realize that the pro-life movement has room, and need, for a number of roles — this is not to be confused with the so-called big tent, which Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics has rightly referred to as a place where you'll find only clowns and jugglers — but the "in the trenches" pro-lifers are the ones who have the very difficult and sensitive task of dealing directly with the abortion-seeking women.

A related note: On July 9, the Pro-Life Action League begins its summer 2010 Face the Truth tour in the Chicago area with the mission of helping the public face the tragic reality of abortion. Now in its eleventh year, the tour is designed to help citizens visualize and understand the human cost of abortion. Pro-lifers visit sites throughout the Chicago area and display graphic pictures of aborted and unborn babies while distributing educational pamphlets to passersby.

"We want to expose the truth about abortion to the public, and the power of graphic signs is undeniable," says Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League. "Yes, the signs are disturbing — but they should disturb us. The killing of an unborn baby in her mother's womb is a horribly disturbing reality that takes place more than 3,400 times every single day in our country."

For more information about the tour, visit

To read two differing priestly viewpoints on the subject of graphic abortion photos, see this past column of mine.

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

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