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By Kathleen Gilbert

ROCKFORD, Illinois, January 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Illinois pro-life advocates are fighting a proposed bubble-zone law to keep sidewalk counselors away from customers of Rockford's notoriously bizarre Northern Illinois Women's Center.  Opponents call it a deeply hypocritical measure, set to destroy the free speech rights of pro-life counselors and crafted by the same individuals who have refused to curtail the racist, anti-Christian, and hate-themed displays that are a regular fixture in the windows of the city's abortion mill.

The ordinance, drafted by City Attorney Jennifer Cacciapaglia and proposed by Alderman Karen Elyea, would forbid individuals within 100 feet of the abortion mill from approaching within 8 feet of women entering the facility. The measure is expected to come up for consideration at a hearing Monday.

Supporters claim the ordinance is necessary to stem the complaints frequently made to police over noise levels and disorderly conduct.  “It’s a dangerous situation there at that driveway,” said Ms. Elyea.

Pro-lifers point out, however, that it is not they, but the abortion mill's employees and associates, who are the regular source of abuse – which often takes bizarre and extreme forms, as extensively documented by LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) and local pro-lifers.  Signs in the windows direct personal taunts towards pro-lifers standing outside, while other displays include rubber chickens hanging by nooses, a cross, complete with a “crucified” rubber chicken, a nun in a coffin, and other displays blaspheming Christianity.  Pro-lifers also have video documentation of assaults and verbal abuse by individuals associated with the abortion clinic. 

Rockford pro-life veteran Kevin Rilott said the reason for the ordinance is “plain and simple.”   “Because of the help being offered by pro-lifers to mothers entering this clinic, a lot of children have been saved, and it's costing them $600.00 every time a mother chooses life,” Rilott told LSN.  “And they want to put a stop to that.”  

Pro-life advocates pointed out another troubling aspect of the measure: the proposed map shows a 100-foot bubble zone centered around an entrance that is not used by women entering the clinic. The actual entrance, they said, is about 50 feet farther back: therefore, the bubble zone is artificially projected out into the street instead of set back within clinic property. 

Rilott says Alderman Elyea has a history of abusing her authority to fight the pro-life presence at the abortion mill.  According to Rilott's account on the Rockford ProLife website, Elyea appeared at the clinic last month and convinced police to force a lone pro-life witness holding a sign outside the abortion mill to leave.  He says police later admitted that the individual was within his rights to witness outside the mill.

Rilott also reports that, when local man Dan McCarty sought Elyea out to complain over the mill's obscene signage, he was told to “get f****d.”  When another pro-life individual expressed concern, the alderman allegedly replied: “I don't talk to terrorists.”

Attorney Tom Brejcha with the pro-life Thomas More Society confirmed to LSN Wednesday that they would be challenging the ordinance in court, should it be enacted.  “We'll be pressing the matter,” said Brejcha, who called the displays in the Rockford abortuary “horrible.”

Thomas More lawyers are fighting a similar bubble zone ordinance that was enacted in Chicago in October. 

“If these people are truly ‘pro-choice’ then they should want us to be at the abortion facility,” said Abby Figgi, another member of the Rockford pro-life crowd.

“Many women choose abortion because they feel they have no choice, because they feel pressured to have one or they feel they do not have the resources to take care of a baby,” she continued.  “Many women go weeping into the facility because they do not want to end the life of their child.  We are there to offer them the help and resources they need. 

“We are there to offer them one last real 'choice'.  No one should want to take that away from them.”

Contact information:

Mayor
Lawrence J. Morrissey

425 East State Street
Rockford, IL  61104
(815) 987-5590 phone
(815) 967-6952 fax
(815) 987-5590 TDD

[email protected]
 
Legal Director
Patrick W. Hayes

425 East State Street
Rockford, IL  61104
(815) 987-5540 phone
(815) 967-6949 fax

Courthouse Office
400 West State Street
Rm# 111
Rockford, IL  61101
(815) 987-5785 phone
(815) 987-8066 fax

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Policeman Confiscates Rockford Pro-Lifer's Christ Image  
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101301.html

Pro-Lifers Publish Video of Morbid, Mocking Displays in Rockford Abortion Mill 
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09092206.html

Abortion Employee Runs into Pro-Lifer, Keeps Going at Bizarre Rockford Abortuary 
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jul/09070807.html

Life Saved in Rockford because of Grotesque Display in Abortion Facility Window 
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09031609.html

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