Pro-Life Rally Draws a Crowd
One day before the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, pro-life supporters rally outside Rockford’s newest abortion clinic.
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
January 26, 2023
ROCKFORD—Nearly 200 pro-life supporters attended the Keep Rockford Pro-Life Rally on Saturday, Jan. 21 outside of the new abortion facility at 611 Auburn St. in Rockford. The event, sponsored by the Rockford Family Initiative, drew pro-life advocates and religious from as far away as Chicago who lined a four-block area along one of the city’s busiest roadways. 
“It’s vitally important for us to stand in the love of Jesus for our neighbors as abortion is still legal in Illinois despite Roe vs Wade being overturned nationally,” said Kevin Rilott, president of the Rockford Family Initiative and an organizer of the rally. “Illinois is fast becoming the abortion center of the Midwest and as Christians, we believe that every life is created in the image and likeness of God and that every life matters.”
“The goals of our rally today are to be witnesses for the unborn, to pray, and to seek God’s wisdom and help. We don’t want any children to die at this abortion clinic,” Rilott says on the RFI website. 
He also noted another problem: “The Auburn Street abortion building is located in a residential area, which has a negative impact on the property value of its neighbors.” 
The abortion facility on Auburn St. dispenses miscarriage-inducing drugs during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy while another proposed abortion facility at 4236 Maray Dr. will provide surgical abortions.
Rilott and those attending the rally also raised concerns that providing abortions in a pill form dramatically lessens the dignity of human life and the moral gravity surrounding the abortive process. 
“I’m a lifelong Rockford resident and I love our city, but we know the problems Rockford faces. We need to come together and solve these problems,” he said. 
“Bringing abortion facilities into our city teaches the citizens of Rockford that violence, ending the life of a child in the womb, is the answer to a crisis pregnancy. We cannot perpetuate the cycle of violence in our city and hope for a better future,” he said. 
Some of the rally’s youngest participants, teens from the Crusaders for Life group at St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago energized the atmosphere with a positive pro-life banner. The group is known for its commitment to the pro-life movement through prayer, adoration, and a percussion line. 
“Our mission is to spread a message of joy and that life is beautiful,” said Mia Lee, president of Crusaders for Life. “We want people in the community to know that there are alternatives to abortion. There are crisis pregnancy centers and resources within the Catholic Church to assist women in unplanned pregnancies.”
Father Christopher DiTomo, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Huntley, also attended the rally and raised serious concerns about how the proposed Auburn St. abortion facility would impact the region. 
“We have won a great victory with Roe v. Wade being overturned, but at the same time, we have a battle beginning with the ease of access to abortion-inducing drugs,” he said.
“With the abortion pill being sold at Walgreens and CVS, this further normalizes abortion and the culture of death where life can be ended by just taking a pill,” Father DiTomo said. 
“Now, more than ever, we need to reach out to women in crises pregnancies with resources and support. We need to work for post-abortive healing with a heart of hope and love.”


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