Copyright © 1997 AFLM
November/December, 1997 Volume XII Number 9
PLAN holds 1997 convention in Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI -- Pro-Life Action Network (PLAN) met in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 11 through 13 for their 20th anniversary of the gatherings. PLAN first met in Chicago in 1977 and have since met annually for fellowship, inspiration, and training in new methods to combat abortion. Each convention formulated some national effort to which others may join themselves. The organization went on to become the one most feared by National Organization for Women judging by the number of lawsuits in which PLAN was named.
While PLAN has no formal leadership, activists like Joseph Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League of Chicago and Don Treshman of Rescue America/National have provided guidance over the years. Both were featured speakers at this year's event.
The first PLAN project of 1997 was announced by Chris Slattery of Project Stop RU-486 when he updated the attendees on the latest inroads in "chemical warfare abortions."
PLAN activists hope to coordinate protests in 12 locations where the "human pesticide" is to undergo new tests. These sites include two in New York City, Rochester and Dobbs Ferry, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Baltimore, Miami, Burlington, Vermont, and Kalispell, Montana. The New York-based Abortion Rights Mobilization recently obtained permission to commit 10,000 abortions with a generic form of RU-486.
The Population Council, the current owner of the rights to manufacture the drug, has so far been unable to locate a pharmaceutical firm willing to do so because the companies are worried about boycotts.
The convention included a rescue on Saturday at the Women's Aid Center in Lincolnwood, Illinois and two other "field training" events.
Participants left the convention site in three different directions. Organizers planned the rescue to occur there the abortionists "would not be expecting us" according to Ed Martin of Rescue America who led the group to the doors.
The other two groups went to prayer vigils held at abortuaries in Milwaukee and Chicago.
"Even the police department wasn't aware of an abortuary in their city," said Don Treshman. "That's how low key this high volume place was operating."
Once at the doors of the Lincolnwood clinic, Police arrested the eleven at the front doors and began escorting mothers into the clinic. Since blocking the back door had become futile, the rescuers at the rear door left without being arrested.
Some pro-lifers who attended this year's activities were concerned about adverse and untruthful press accounts describing the meetings as "a convention of terrorists.
"We feared attendance would wane because of attacks by the abortion industry," said one of the conventions' organizers. "But our fears were unfounded. Pro-life activists came from all over this country and Canada."
A week before the convention some registrants had to be turned down because the opening banquet to be held at Hotel Wisconsin had been booked to capacity.
Several hours before the banquet, pro-life activist leaders met to plan strategies for coordinated events for the coming year.
Speakers at the convention included Dr. Beverly McMillan, a former abortionist from Mississippi, who stressed the need to "continue to focus on prayer and presence at the abortion mills" and Joan Appleton, R.N. who shared from her experiences inside the abortion industry.
Contemporary activist pro-life organizations like Advocates for Life Ministries, Operation Rescue, and Rescue America are rooted in the early PLAN conferences.