By Kathleen Gilbert and John Jalsevac

NEW YORK, July 23, 2010 ( - The author of a recent New York Times article on modern abortion providers may have made a strategic misstep in the abortionist that she chose to feature, if her intent was to paint a sympathetic picture of abortion practitioners. The lengthy article shines the spotlight on abortionist Emily Godfrey, who worked for several years at what may be the United States' most bizarre abortion clinic – the Northern Illinois Women's Center (NIWC) in Rockford, Illinois.

While Godfrey attempted to paint a grim picture of a threatening crowd of pro-lifers who allegedly “surrounded” her as she walked to and from the notorious Rockford abortion facility, one of the leaders in the Rockford pro-life movement has countered that the claim is demonstrably baseless. Kevin Rilott has pointed out that pro-lifers are not even allowed on the property of NIWC, let alone able to approach anywhere near the abortionists. (LSN) has frequently reported on NIWC's use of vicious, threatening and blasphemous messages, evidently meant to intimidate the pro-life protesters outside. The abortuary was only recently in the news, after a staff member emerged from the building wielding a running chainsaw, with which he attempted to drown out the voices of pro-life counselors.

On another occasion the owner, Wayne Webster, was caught on camera communicating over the clinic’s outdoor PA system with an enraged local pro-abort with a pit-bull in tow, who was confronting the pro-life protesters. After the antagonist, by the name of Keith Sterkeson, had called the pro-lifer who was videotaping the encounter a “ni**er” 19 times, shouted the word “f**k” at him 36 times, and called him a “degenerate” 16 times, Webster warned Sterkeson that he had heard over his police scanner that the police were on their way. He also assured Sterkeson that he was acting no crazier than these “a**holes” (the pro-lifers).

In the recent NYT article, however, abortionist Emily Godfrey complained to the author, Emily Bazelon, about the pressure caused by the presence of the pro-life witnesses when she worked at NIWC.

“I’m a Catholic girl from the suburbs. I’m a yoga student. I like calm and serenity,” Godfrey said.

Throughout the time Godfrey was working there, NIWC was undoubtedly anything but “calm and serene.” In addition to the two encountes mentioned above, the chilling displays erected in the windows of the building, which continue to grow, include a nun in a coffin, a crucified rubber chicken, and rubber chickens hanging from nooses. Another sign in the window of the facility suggests that the abortionists have conducted “50,000” abortions while Jesus Christ (presumably through the actions of the pro-life counselors) has saved only “50” children; other signs direct personal insults at individual pro-lifers.

Bazelon, describing Godfrey's account of life at NIWC, wrote that, “Protesters surrounded her when she walked into the clinic.” “One day, a clinic resident left his lunch in the car and said he’d rather be hungry than go back to get it,” wrote Bazelon.

Godfrey left the mill in 2008 to work at the University of Illinois: “By taking jobs on university faculties, the young doctors avoid walking to work through a scrum of screaming demonstrators,” Bazelon explained.

However, Rockford pro-life veteran Kevin Rilott said that the crowd of pro-life witnesses that have kept vigil outside the bizarre abortuary for years are peaceful and, since they unable even to enter the clinic parking lot, can do nothing but pray and offer help from a distance to women entering the clinic.

“As any of you know who have prayed at Rockford's abortion mill, the Christians who stand on the sidewalks at this mill literally can not get within 200 feet of a person who is walking into the building,” wrote Rilott on his blog.

“Abortionist Godfrey parked in the back of the mill lot so pro-lifers could hardly even see her, let alone 'surround her,'” he added.

Rilott also took issue with Godfrey's account of her disappointment at the number of living children she delivered to poor women in Chicago – an experience that she says prompted her to pursue a career killing the unborn.

“Bringing so many unwanted children into the world, or children who wouldn’t be readily provided for because their mothers were on drugs or who were taken away at birth — well, that just solidified my feeling that I wanted to provide abortions,” Godfrey told Bazelon. She said she had tried, but failed, to stem the problem by giving poor women IUDs just after delivery – and was only thwarted by Medicaid's refusal to cover the second procedure.

“Considering that she was working in Rockford at an abortion mill that hung rubber chickens by nooses that offended African Americans,” said Rilott, “this seems like another statement from a eugenics-minded person whose answer to African Americans living in poverty was not to eliminate the poverty, but to eliminate the African Americans.”

See related coverage:

Abortion Clinic Owner Responds with Chainsaw as Radio Blares: 'God Bless Pro-Lifers!'