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The godfather of pro-life activism has died.
Joseph Scheidler passed away Jan. 18 at the age of 93. He was the founder of Pro-Life Action League and was a leader in the pro-life movement since the very beginning.
Scheidler said in 2011 that "the most important thing we do in the pro-life movement, and that is sidewalk counseling. Because that's where you stop for a moment and help the woman think it through."
His 1985 book, Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, became a strategy guide for pro-life advocates.
Father Frank Pavone and Janet Morana of Priests for Life paid tribute to Scheidler Monday.
Morana: "Joe Scheidler was the, I would say, one of the early pioneers of showing what abortion looked like."
Scheidler faced a legal battle for 28 years after a pro-abortion group accused him and other pro-lifers of racketeering — wrongly claiming pro-lifers used threats of violence. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually vindicated Scheidler — twice ruling in his favor.
His funeral Mass was offered Monday at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago.
In other pro-life news, leaders are discussing what the pro-life movement's future will be under the Biden administration.
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List observed Friday that — despite Democrats controlling the U.S. Congress — the pro-life movement held its ground in state governments.
Dannenfelser: "Every single pro-life governor in this country we kept — and we added one."
All this comes in a year when the annual March for Life in D.C. is canceled, owing to fear of spreading the Wuhan virus.
But that's not stopping other pro-life demonstrations from happening in-person this month.
The West Coast's Walk for Life — for example — took place Saturday in San Francisco.
Organizers were expecting very low turnout due to the pandemic. But local pro-lifers turned out in the thousands.
Even with fear of the pandemic and the passing of Scheidler, some pro-lifers still see a strong future for the movement.