By Caytie Davis
This past week abolitionists from all over the country joined Abolish Abortion WI in Milwaukee as we kicked off a 4-day conference of interposition and total abolition of abortion. As is typical with any abolitionist conference, much of our time was spent ministering out on the streets rather than sitting inside listening to lectures. Some even took it upon themselves to minister at high schools and abortion clinics during their free time. Though don’t get me wrong, the lectures that were given were great and will hopefully prod many to further action.
The conference started early Sunday morning, March 12th as we lit. dropped churches and parking lots with pamphlets promoting an upcoming ceremony commemorating Joshua Glover (Our pamphlets and the history of Joshua Glover can be read on our website, AbolishAbortionWI.com). Lectures were given that evening by Pastor Matt Trewhella and Jason Storms of Mercy Seat Church and guest speakers T. Russell Hunter and John Michener, both from Oklahoma. Rusty Thomas of Operation Save America came all the way from Texas to be part of the effort. He preached the morning sermon and also spoke later that night. These short talks were followed by a dinner open to the public prepared by the host Church, Mercy Seat.
Despite the freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions that rolled in just in time for the conference, we managed to stick to most of the schedule as planned. On Monday, those who braved the unplowed roads gathered at the Planned Parenthood near downtown Milwaukee to minister to the women going in. They were met by a police officer who informed them that P.P. had gotten an event permit for the day blocking access to the sidewalk in front of their building. The officer sat in his car making sure everyone stayed across the street. Clearly P.P. obtained the permit as a way to frustrate our efforts; their “event” consisted of nothing more than a folding table placed outside their front door. From there we stopped for a quick coffee break to warm up before heading a few blocks north to Governor Scott Walker’s Milwaukee Office. We surrounded the building holding signs which said “Ignore Roe” and “Establish Justice” as we passed out more pamphlets to people walking by. Just before leaving, a small group of men went in with Pastor Matt to deliver the first of three letters written to Governor Walker demanding interposition on behalf of the preborn and the immediate abolition of abortion. That letter can be viewed on our website.
Tuesday was the commemorative ceremony of Joshua Glover and the 158th anniversary of Wisconsin’s defiance of Federal tyranny. We met at Cathedral Square, the site where Glover was imprisoned, though the jail has since been relocated. We listened as the story of Joshua Glover’s rescue was read aloud, followed by the reading of Wisconsin’s original 1859 resolution which defied the Federal Fugitive Slave Act. Former Green Bay Packer Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (KGB), a Christian husband and father of 7, was the keynote speaker. A few local pastors were asked to pray and give their testimony. Governor Walker, Sheriff David Clarke and other city officials were invited to the ceremony but were not present. Over 700 Bible believing churches in Milwaukee and surrounding areas were sent a packet of information regarding abolition and an invitation to stand with us against this federal tyranny. Not one responded or showed up. I was struck by the contrast that 150 years ago, Sherman Booth was able to rally 5000 men in a single day to the aid of one slave, yet with a couple month’s notice, we couldn’t get one church to rally to the aid of the thousands of babies being murdered every year by abortion. What a sad indictment on the churches today.
Once the ceremony was over, with signs in hand, we marched a few blocks to City Hall where we sang “The Voice As Strong As Thunder”, a modern abolitionist song. Later that night another dinner was provided and more talks were given, this time followed by a Q&A session.
Wednesday was the final day of the conference. We gathered that morning in front of the Milwaukee Federal Courthouse with signs and pamphlets. With megaphone in hand, Pastor Matt and Rusty spoke against the fiction of judicial supremacy. From there we drove an hour and a half to the Capitol in Madison where we delivered a second letter (same as the first) to Governor Walker’s office, then split up into teams to lobby our state’s pro-life legislators. Though we were only able to speak to their secretaries and not the legislators directly, we reminded them of their duty as magistrates to uphold God’s law and defy unjust rulings. We encouraged them to quit regulating abortion and hiding behind the lie that says their hands are tied because “the courts have ruled”. We exhorted them to no longer be pro-life but abolitionists.
Lastly, we drove a few miles down the road to the Governor’s mansion where once again we set up with our signs along the street in front of the house and delivered our third and final letter to Governor Walker. While we couldn’t go past the gate that surrounded the home, we were informed by the house secretary through speaker that a police officer would meet us at the end of the driveway to receive the letter, making sure it would be delivered. She told us it was the first time anyone had tried hand delivering a letter to the governor’s mansion. As we waited for the officer to come we sang hymns and prayed. We were even able to talk to one of the neighbors as she came out thanking us for being there. She was impressed with how organized and well behaved we were compared to most who often protest in front of the mansion. Once the letter was delivered we packed up and drove home.
Overall, I’d say the conference was a success and we’re extremely grateful to those who came out to help with this effort, especially those from out of state. It was a great time of fellowship and ministry with other believers. The conference, while important in and of itself, was only one strategic part of a much larger picture in the effort to rally the lesser magistrates and abolish abortion in the state of Wisconsin. Though the weather was not ideal for some of our outdoor activities we can only believe God’s hand was in that in directing our focus on what was most important. We may have appeared to be a small, insignificant group, but as Scripture so often reminds us, God can and often does work with small numbers.