Longtime pro-life activists Rev. Norm Stone, Jerry Horn, Joe Scheidler and Father Frank Pavone today reacted to news of the permanent closing of Planned Parenthood’s abortion business in Appleton, Wisconsin.
The abortion facility, located in the town of Grand Chute, has been a hotbed of pro-life street activism for over three decades, and at one time was reputed to be the largest and busiest freestanding abortion clinic in Wisconsin, serving the tri-state area of Wisconsin, Michigan and western Minnesota. Its closing marks a significant victory for local and national prolife groups.
“This is what I have prayed about night and day,” said Horn, a senior advisor to Priests for Life.
Horn explained that his pro-life activism began in the early 1980s when he was on a retreat with his wife, Bonnie, their pastor, Rev. Norm Stone, and his wife, Judy. Following training in pro-life activism by movement veterans Joe and Ann Scheidler, founders of the Pro-Life Action League, Pastor Stone’s church purchased the house next to the Appleton abortion business – then named the Fox Valley Reproductive Healthcare Center - and Horn and his wife moved in with their children.
“Planned Parenthood is blaming the closing on its inability to adequately ‘protect’ its staff and clients from pro-lifers, but that’s just a cover story, and not a very convincing one,” Horn said. “This business is closing because the darkness of abortion has been exposed. That’s what Pastor Stone and his wife and my wife and I started doing 33 years ago, and which the faithful and constant local and state leaders and individuals have been doing since then. They are the real heroes today.”
Pastor Stone, reached in Montana as he completed his 2,700th mile in an 8,000-mile walk for life called Circling the Nation, said the abortion business closing represented “a real victory for the pro-lifers who stayed on the battle lines all these years.”
Scheidler, who was having lunch with his wife, Ann, their daughter Sarah Worthington and Horn in Chicago yesterday as they learned of the closing, said: “We’re just delighted that the Appleton clinic is finally closed. The fact that I was with Ann and Jerry when we heard the news gave us all reason to celebrate.
“Abortion businesses are closing all over the country because of the dedication of pro-lifers willing to brave ridicule and worse by standing outside in prayer and protest,” said Father Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “The abortion industry is in a state of collapse. We will see to it that more and more of these centers close.”
A press conference that will bring together national pro-life leaders is being planned for the near future. Horn said the conference would focus on the work of Wisconsin activists who have worked for decades to close the Appleton abortion facility, as well as the trend of these free-standing abortion businesses closing nationwide.
To arrange interviews with any of the original Appleton activists, call Leslie Palma, communications director for Priests for Life, at 347-286-7277 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.