Demonstrators held a pro-life rally at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield on Wednesday to protest abortion legislation introduced by Democrats.
Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake) urged those rallying to go into the capitol building and use it freely.
"You own that building," Skillicorn said to the crowd. "Use it. You have the right to pull your representative out of session. Write their name down and hand it in and they will pull your representative or senator. Feel free to do that. Thanks for sticking up for life. It matters."
Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake)
One of the bills would allow minors to get abortions without requiring the notification of parents or guardians, while the other seeks to replace some of the language in the state’s current abortion statute.
Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler, a father of eight children, including six daughters, told protestors to stay strong.
"We are against these bills," Scheidler said. "Parents should not be kept in the dark about procedures their children are getting."
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield pointed out that the fifth commandment says thou shall not kill.
"This is like the story of David and Goliath," Paprocki said. "The Democratic Party controls this state. We are David and we're facing overwhelming odds. But we never give up. Put all your trust in God."
Paprocki added that Illinois needs to abolish abortion and to stop the new abortion legislation in its tracks.
"We have to protect the lives of unborn babies," Paprocki said.
Nancy Kreuzer, a pro-life advocate who regrets having a second-trimester abortion, said when her doctor advised the abortion she had just been told the baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
"They told me it was a simple procedure," Kreuzer said. "It was not. I struggled for decades. I couldn’t stand hearing babies cry. I often ask myself would I have had the abortion had I known it would do this to me? Would I have had it if I had known one day I would be sitting quietly at home and flashback to that day?"
Kreuzer said she would not have gone through with the procedure had she known at the time all that it entailed.
"It seems to be an absurd understatement to say abortion is a cruel event that forever changes the landscape of a woman’s life," Kreuzer said. "It’s inhumane to the baby and to the mother. It encompasses a lifetime of regret that cannot be undone. It is most certainly not health care."
Belinda Guyton, the center director of Southside Pregnancy Center, said her center truly respects and cares about women.
"If you are pro-woman you will tell women the truth," Guyton said. "At pregnancy resource centers, we share the truth of fetal development at every stage. We tell them the truth about abortion and the risks associated."
Guyton said that the center provides information about adoption and urges people to continue to support and pay for pregnancy-resource centers.
"We’re on the front lines," Guyton said. "We care about and respect women. We’re pro-women, pro-family and pro-child."
Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Mt. Vernon) said there are legislators in Springfield who are pro-life and are pro-life without exception.
"We're here to fight for you," Bryant said. "Our enemy is the one who came to steal, kill and destroy. Before you leave here today, bathe this place with God’s word. We’re going to fight these bills and ask you to continue filling out the witness slips."
Bryant said the bills are still in subcommittee because so many have filled out witness slips opposing the legislation.
"There are 15,000 to 17,000 names on there," Bryant said. "I’m going to ask for every witness slip be read into the record. We will demand every witness slip be read. We have that right and you have that right to have your voice be heard."
Reps. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) and Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) also urged protestors to fight against the legislation and call the sponsors of the bills.
"We need to focus on common sense, boldness and courage," Bailey said. "We need to start stepping up. Call these sponsors. Be relentless about that."