Pro-lifers suffer assaults, but abortion clinic closes

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Charlie Butts (

The pro-life community in Rockford, Illinois, will finally get some respect, but they had to go to the federal court to gain it.

Pro-lifers demonstrated regularly at the city's lone abortion clinic where the owner and others were known to taunt them.

Kevin Rilott with the Rockford Pro-Life Initiative describes some of the incidents that took place before the abortion clinic.

Rilott, Kevin"It was unbelievably bad. At times assaults took place on pro-lifers," he tells OneNewsNow. "We'd have to call 9-1-1 repeatedly two, three, four times. Officers would show up over half an hour after an assault took place. They just were not taking any of these incidents seriously."

In one case, he says, a pro-lifer who had been assaulted provided police with a description of the assailant as well as the license number of the vehicle. In another incident, a pro-life prayer warrior outside the abortion clinic asked an arriving police officer why he was wearing a large skull on his knit cap.

"The officer responded by ordering the pro-lifer to get out of his sight, and when the pro-lifer complied with the officer's demand, he ticketed the pro-lifer for taking a few steps onto a residential street and gave him a jaywalking ticket for that," he says.

A federal lawsuit was filed and a settlement has been reached, meaning police will respect free-speech rights, officers will be trained on the Constitution, and grievance procedures will be set in place if officers do not comply.  The Rockford abortion clinic is now closed.

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