The anti-choice movement has for the past several years focused, with some success, on ending access to legal abortion by regulating abortion providers out of existence. Many politicians and anti-choice groups have attempted to disguise the real motives behind such targeted regulations, which typically have no meaningful benefit to patients or providers but do force many clinics to close or incur unnecessary costs, by saying that they are merely trying to protect women’s health. However, some activists have not been shy about straight-forwardly discussing the movement’s strategy.
One of those activists is Eric Scheidler, the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League and son of Joseph Scheidler, one of the founders of the anti-abortion “rescue” movement.
In an interview with Christian broadcaster Jerry Newcombe yesterday, Scheidler discussed how he and his father have gone after abortion clinics in Illinois, explaining that they “go after these abortion clinics every way that we can” so that even as abortion remains legal, women will be left with no abortion clinics to go to.
The point is that we go after these abortion clinics every way that we can. We’re there present, praying and counseling and being a witness to the sanctity of life and a sign of contradiction at the abortion clinics. We go after them through state regulations and inspections, we go after them through laws like parental notification. … And we go after them for the way that they’re zoned. Everything we can do, we must do to try to shut down these abortion facilities because even though abortion is legal in this country, if there’s not an abortion clinic nearby, very often a woman will choose life for her child and that child will live. So cutting off access to abortion through these horrible abortion clinics is really very important.
Newcombe also asked Scheidler if he could envision a day when abortion would be illegal throughout the country. Scheidler answered that that is indeed his goal, but that first, America must reverse its “morals surrounding sexuality.”
We have to understand that abortion does not stand alone, it’s not an evil all by itself. Abortion as something socially acceptable and acceptable within our laws is a relatively new thing, and it comes as a result of a major breakdown of morals, especially morals surrounding sexuality. You can’t expect a culture that places sexual pleasure above almost any other value, that is continually pressing those buttons, constant titillation of sexual desire, that’s sexualizing everything about our culture, sexualizing our youth, etc. You can’t expect a culture like that to exist and also somehow not have legal abortion. Abortion is, in a sense, a crutch for that kind of culture. It becomes necessary, in a sense, because of the sexual morality that leads to so many unplanned pregnancies.
You know if abortion were to be illegal, were somehow to be made illegal tomorrow, it’s hard to imagine what the landscape would look like. So as we seek that day when abortion is finally banned in our country, we have to be thinking about the other things that need to be changed culturally, not just the services provided to women so that they won’t be seeking even illegal abortions, but also to instill a sense of self-respect, of respect for others, of sexual moderation and self-control. Those are all necessary ingredients. So it’s going to be a very difficult and, I think, very long victory path for us. I think we will do it, I think it’s inevitable that this evil will have to end someday, but there’s a great deal that needs to change about our culture.