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Christmas caroling at abortion clinics
By Patty Knap
Pro-lifers continue to come up with new and inspiring ways to call attention to the sanctity of the unborn child. This one is especially beautiful.
Over 30 Planned Parenthood clinics across the country this Christmas season are the sites of “Empty Manger” Christmas caroling. Started in Chicago in 2003 by the Pro-Life Action League, singing religious Christmas songs with an empty manger (generally a basket or bassinet) on display has spread. Groups of individuals, families, parish respect life ministries, Knights of Columbus, and area pro-life activists have organized this year's "Empty Manger" events.
"No pregnant woman heads joyfully into an abortion clinic," said Eric Scheidler, Executive Director of the Pro-Life Action League. "We are here to counter that walk toward darkness with the invitation to choose life for the child they are carrying, a baby like the one meant to lay in the empty manger we gather around for our caroling," Scheidler said. "It's particularly sad to think of someone getting an abortion during the time of Christmas, when we remember hope springing forth with the birth of a child. It can also be a special time to reach women and help them decide to not go through with the abortion."
Who isn't touched by a beautiful rendition of Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, or Away in a Manger? Christmas caroling invokes images of the Blessed Mother and Baby Jesus. "We were singing 'Silent Night' outside of a Chicago abortion clinic when a young woman came out, approached one of our carolers, and said that our singing made her think about Mary and Baby Jesus and she just couldn't go through with her abortion," said Scheidler.
The Pro Life Action League has provided caroling day how-to guide, suggested songs, and even an empty manger plan (essentially the same as one in a nativity scene, only without the baby Jesus.) Song sheets are distributed at the site, and the atmosphere is holy and reverent.
This year's pro-life Advent tradition has taken place in California, Michigan, Texas, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Illinois, Washington, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Florida!
In some places, a banner declaring, "All I Want for Christmas... is an End to Abortion" is on display beyond the carolers. Local organizers have reported that oftentimes people walking by will stop and join in the singing.
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