By Jasmine M. Ellis
In the midst of tension between pro-abortion rights supporters and anti-abortion protesters from various groups, Christmas carolers gathered in front of a West Loop abortion provider on December 5.
In frigid temperatures, escorts from The Clinic Vest Project accompanied people to and from the clinic past anti-abortion activists who sang Christmas carols and spoke about God’s love for the patients.
Organized by the Pro-Life Action League, such “Empty Manger” Christmas Caroling events are taking place across the country until December 19.
The group’s website lists a “Chicago Caroling Tour” scheduled for December 19 visiting four locations, including a Planned Parenthood and Family Planning Associates Medical Group, the target of the December 5 event.
Meg Meehan, co-organizer of the December 5 event, said the group wanted to show “we are very caring and want to help these women.”
“Especially with the attacks that are going on, the pro-life movement is not a violent movement,” Meehan continued. “And it’s really sad that a lot of pro-lifers are seen as violent people…To combat this terrible perception that people have of pro-lifers, I think we need to bring a little bit of Christmas joy and singing and bring the spirit of life back. We’re very peaceful people.”
A representative from Family Planning Associates Medical Group declined to comment. Along with abortion, the clinic provides services such as birth control visits, STI/STD testing and ultrasound exams.
Meehan said that every year the goal of the caroling “is always the same.”
“To plant seeds in people’s minds,” she continued. “To give them a different view of what pro-lifers are…to hopefully change hearts and minds.”
Veronica Price said that she receives information from the Pro-Life Action League about “life and where people are gathering to support it.” Price said she believes that life begins at conception, her view on a central part of the debate over abortion.
“I believe that a baby in the womb should have personhood just as outside the womb,” she said. “I don’t think there’s any difference…Life in the earliest stage is just as valuable as the stage that we’re in right now.
“If I’m going to sleep with someone then, I need to accept that I can get pregnant,” she continued. “And take on the responsibility of that baby or ensure that baby is adopted. Not kill that baby.”
While Price held a sign at the protest, Jozi Deak used the carols to spread her message.
“l love to sing anything to praise God and to worship God,” she said.
“As a pro-life prayer warrior and counselor, we find it to be a blessing to sing Christmas carols, because it is about the birth of the Lord Jesus,” Deak said. “We pray that other people would hear our songs and The Holy Spirit would touch their hearts.”
Deak is not a member of the Pro-Life Action League. But she “believe(s) that all Christians who love and serve God, they stand for the sanctity of human life.”