A touring group of anti-abortion protestors set up signs along Ridge Avenue at Davis Street in Evanston around the noon hour today.

The handful of protestors from the Pro-Life Action League displayed  signs they said showed images of aborted fetuses to passing drivers.

Some of the drivers honked, apparently in support, while others shouted criticisms of the protest.

Protestor Carol Sbarbras said she has a son who’s a student at Northwestern and decided to protest because “I believe in pro-life. Life has value.”

Eric Schneidler, the group’s executive director, said, “These signs get people upset because it is an upsetting reality” he said. But “there are a lot of people who respond positively” he went on to add. “The best thing is when somebody sees a sign and decides against abortion.”

The group has held protests in over a dozen suburbs and several Chicago neighborhoods over the past two weeks.

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  1. I saw them this afternoon and

    I saw them this afternoon and I was SOOO angry. I had my 10-year-old in the car and I don't think anyone has any right to force me look at those graphic photos. I am not against pro-life and respect their position. However, I don't feel me being respected while driving on a busy road with my son going about our business. And really the photos would stop people having abortion? Deciding on abortion is not as simple as looking at a photo or not. I wish they could be mindful about what they impose on others. 

  2. I am so glad they did this in Evanston.

    I agree, the graphic reality of abortions is shocking. God bless the Pro-Life Action League for bravely bringing this gruesome practice to the light of day.

    1. I am NOT so glad, NOT at all

      Have any of these people ever been forced to observe an abortion? Likely not. So why does anyone think it's OK to force my family to observe these graphics on our way home from a pleasant Saturday of errands? Our 7-year-old was in the car, full of questions of what this was all about. Normally we explain just about anything in great detail, but on this we were silent, simply not ready to address the subject with her. Which of course confused and frustrated her all the more. She asked if it was about a car accident happening on that corner.

      Family values? Not MY family's, and you have violated our human rights.

  3. Pro-life protest

    Why did the group pick this intersection?  I have seen them there before and wonder why because  there are no medical facilities at the intersection.

    Did they have a permit to protest?

    I am in favor of free speech, but strongly disagree with their position.

  4. Abortion Protest

    I thought this protest was extremely distracting on a very busy road.  There was not enough warning to take a different route.  We should not be forced to view those horrific photos in a public place.  I was so thankful I didn't have my grandchldren in the car with me.  Aside from being pro-life or pro-choice, a person should not be forced to participate against their will.  This protest was not pro-choice in that I would have avoided it had I known.  I am thankful people weren't killed in their cars on Ridge road.

  5. Their fanaticism is hurting

    Their fanaticism is hurting their cause more than their efforts. "Everyone has the right to live, until you are born. Once you are born, you are on your own…"

  6. Graphic images for shock value = disgusting

    My wife and I were driving down Ridge when she saw a sign that said "caution, graphic images ahead".   And 1 block up are people holding big signs with close up pictures of dead fetuses.    I understand that there is freedom of speech — but how about some common decency here?   sunday =  family time and kids out in cars with their families.    I am extremely angry that these images were allowed to be shown so prominently.   Now, I know that "offensive" is a broad paintbrush — but howabout I find out where these protesters live and put up big signs of pornographic pictures down their streets?   Its free speech as well, right?   

  7. I Held A Sign

    Human life has value and should be protected under the law.  It's a basic human right.

    Most people in Evanston vote in favor of abortion staying legal.  People should see what they vote for. 

    If the pictures are gross, can you imagine what it's like in person?  That should say something about whether or not this is ok to continue to be legal.  Imagine that picture again – do you want to vote for that?

    I held a sign on Saturday in Evanston and thoughout the Chicagoland area last week.  I find that the richer the neighborhood, the more childish and base of a response we receive.  Enraged grandmotherly types giving teenagers the finger is not something you see everyday, but I did see it in Evanston.  It's a shame because in the southside, we get honest rational discussions and we would hope Evanston would be willing to be as open to setting emotion aside and letting rational thought win the day.  I think that emotion clouds the mind of residents in Evanston and I hope in future years when we return that reasonable thought will win the day. 

    Regarding kids, my experience is that if the parents are cool the kids are cool, but if the parents are enraged, the kids are distraught.  The prolifers have kids and they do just fine with the pictures.  A simple calm explanation will do for the kids and then distract them 30 second later with something else and all is well.  It's really not that complicated!

    By the way, if there's nothing wrong with abortion, how come we don't show it on TV like we show knee surgery?

    It's a scientific fact that human life begins at conception so that abortion is homicide, the killing of a human being.  I think that's worth contemplating for a moment for those that drive past us in Evanston and throughout the Chicagoland area.

    1. Good for you, Chris

      "Human life has value and should be protected under the law."

      I agree with this statement. And because I agree with that statement I don't think anyone should be out holding signs that have a substantial likelihood of distracting drivers on a fast moving, narrow street with a lot of pedestrians crossing, often against the light. But since you and your ilk have such great respect for human life, I'm sure you will all stand tall when an anti abortion activist is rung up on manslaughter charges after a motorist gawking at one of those signs crosses the center line hits someone head on killing a family of five on their way to church due to a reckless disregard for public safety. Exercise your free speech rights all you want, just please practice what you preach and do it somewhere you don't pose a threat to human life, such as down by the lakefront where you will encounter pedestrians and cyclists.

    2. When was this vote?

      Chris states that most people in Evanston vote in favor of abortion. When was this vote? Did I miss something?

      1. Yeah, I wondered that, too

        I mean, the People's Republik of Evanston is an autonomous utopian society whose voters can trump the Supreme Court of the United States if they so choose.

  8. Abortion is the greatest right American’s have

    I believe the right to have an abortion is the greatest right we have in this nation. I don't really care about these people holding their signs. My running route goes along Ridge, so I was able to view each sign very closely on Saturday morning. All they were doing was holding their signs, so I have no problem with the demonstration. They were not invasive at all. As a matter of fact, the detailed graphic imagery was really quite interesting to observe. I personally do not believe that life exists until a being takes its' first breath, so it was kind of cool to see how a soon-to-be human develops in the womb.

    And to these parents complaining about their kids seeing the images: get over yourselves. they were just images of reality. If anything, you should have told them that they were just pictures of how a baby develops – which is actually what it was.

    1. What is the limit ?

      Perhaps the signs will cause the children to ask the parents why anyone would kill a baby and if the parents thought about killing them.

      If parents will crush the head of the baby just as it is being delievered, maybe chidren and the courts should ask how long the parents have the right to kill their children [property]—12 ? 18 ?

  9. They proved their opponents’ point..

    Four points here:

    1. I was incredibly annoyed, since we had our 5 yr-old in the car at the time, and some of the photos would have been nightmare-inducing for a very young child, and there really was no option for us to seek an alternative route by the time we got the warning.  And, there are a lot of young children in Evanston..
    2. It actually gave us a learning point, since I was able to tell our daughter to quickly close her eyes just for a moment, and then we explained to her what it was all about.  We told her that some people hold views that the majority of other people don't have.  There is no problem with them having their views, but the Constitution protects us from having views imposed us, just because of what one group believes or doesn't believe.  We are protected, by and large, from behaving in a way which is against our own beliefs, whatever they may, or may not be.
    3. What a shame it is that a group can successfully enrage someone like myself, who is personally against abortion, but respects that others' situation are not the same as my own, and therefore, may unwillingly have to accept an alternative choice, by such a silly demonstration in a community like Evanston, the nirvana of liberal thought if ever there was one.
    4. Why, oh why, did they choose this intersection, and was it because the YWCA is located there?
  10. So gross!

    When is using photos of dead people to advertise appropriate?  If the organization really believes that these fetuses are people, then those fetuses are, in fact, dead minors.  The organization should have sought out the permission of their birth parents before using them for their propaganda.

    I'm pro-choice: I CHOSE not to have an abortion, and that choice was meaningful.  I thought to myself, "I fully accept that I'm going to have a child, and I'll do the best I can." 

    If I'd been forced to 'have the baby,' I don't think I would be nearly as good a parent.  Being human, I would probably resent my child and think, "YOU'RE the source of all my problems because I was STUCK with you."

    And I really didn't like being ambushed by photos while I was out walking with my young child — the one I didn't abort.

  11. Anti abortion graphic images a dangerous distraction for drivers

    I agree with an earlier comment that regardless of one's opinion about abortion, this was a dangerous distraction for the drivers on a very busy road. The "warning" was one sign a few short blocks before the barrage of extremely upsetting images started, too late to change route. So, what is one supposed to do if one has little kids in the car? Take one's hands off the wheel and cover their eyes? This was brazen and totally unsafe. I will be calling the City to find out if it is legal to disrupt traffic this way. I was really shaken myself and it affected my driving for quite a while. These things are not going to change people's opinions, if anything, they polarize them even more.


  12. I do not believe this is the

    I do not believe this is the best approach to protest abortions.  I don't like anything distracting me when I drive.  However, I also believe parents who get so upset about their children seeing these images are upset because they might have to explain the issue to their children.  5-year old children are smart enough to know that a baby is a baby, even if you want to call it a fetus and that if it is ripped from the womb you are killing it.   Then they have to explain how they believe women have the right to do this, but it is okay because we didn't do it to you and it was not a "baby" yet?  Not particularly logical.

    Too much of today's society is semantics–if it's a baby, it's not okay, if it's a fetus, it's okay.  If it is a mandate, it's not okay, if it's a tax, it's okay.  And my favorite, it all depends on the meaning of the word "is".  Words used to have meanings, now they are excuses.

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