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How my dad, Joe Scheilder, inspired me to be a pro-life activist

Eric Scheidler reflects on what it means to grow up with a pro-life leader as a father.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 2:39 pm EST
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October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In today’s episode of The Van Maren Show, pro-life activist Eric Scheidler joins Jonathon to discuss the impact of the pro-life grassroots movements and how his father’s pro-life activism helped shaped his own passion for life.  

Eric Scheidler is the Executive Director of the Pro-Life Action League, a grassroots movement that focuses on “direct action.”

Eric is the son of Joe Scheidler, one of the greatest living pro-life leaders. He asks listeners to pray for his father, Joe, who is in poor health. 

Listen to the full interview here: 

He tells Jonathon that he was six years old when he went to his first pro-life rally and has been involved in the movement ever since.  

Eric has been aware of the great media bias toward pro-lifers since he was young. He read about his father, their family, and the events he attended in the news. He tells listeners that even back then he would read articles about events he attended with his father and often struggled to find a resemblance between the event he attended the article's representation of it. 

Eric continues to share stories and encouragement from his time in the pro-life movement. Specifically, Eric has focused on grassroots efforts to mobilize pro-lifers at the community level.  

“Our [Pro-Life Action League’s] focus is direct action. Putting regular people to work in their own communities,” Eric tells listeners.  

Eric shares one story of how his whole community came together to prayerfully protest a new Planned Parenthood building that had secretly gone up in their town.  

Eric discovered the clinic was being built after a contractor reached out to him and told him that there was a medical building being built with cameras, bulletproof drywall, and other adjustments that weren’t normal for a medical clinic.  

Through the Freedom of Information Act, Eric discovered that Planned Parenthood had lied to the city and others in their initial documents.  

Just a few days after discovering the medical building was going to be a Planned Parenthood, Eric organized a meeting at his church.  

Hundreds of people attended the meeting and within just a few days the entire community had filled the 40 Days for Life prayer schedule.  

This was just one of many examples and encouraging stories Eric has to share about the impact of the grassroots pro-life movement.  

Eric also shares how he organized defund Planned Parenthood rallies across the country shortly after Trump was elected. He was told that these rallies helped convince the president to remove Title X funding from Planned Parenthood.  

Eric sees a need for the “continuing transformation of people’s attitude and that’s a slow process.”  

Until the abortion rate decreases in America, it will be difficult for the large majority of people to fully support putting an end to abortion. With such a large number of abortions in the U.S., most everyone is connected to abortion in some way.  

“People are uncomfortable with it but they are willing to tolerate it because they just can’t think of their family member or their friend as an evil person who contributed to the murder of an innocent human being.” 

Eric sees the true exposure of abortion for what it is as an important form of education that can ultimately lead to a change of attitude toward abortion.  

He continues, “victim photography that makes people angry, but also makes it a lot harder for them to be okay with abortion, we have to get that out there more and more.” 


  eric scheidler, joe scheidler, jonathon van maren, pro-life action league, the van maren show

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