Close to 100 baseball executives and professional baseball players have announced an initiative to raise $1 million for the American Life League’s (ALL) planned “Campus for Life.” The “Campus for Life” will be built in Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., and its intended purpose is to lend academic credibility to the anti-abortion movement and to “train the next generation’s leaders,” according to the Arizona Republic.
The “Battin’ 1000 Campaign” was announced by ALL officials and a contingent of the supporting baseball players in February. Jerry Colangelo, Arizona Diamondbacks CEO, plans to continue to recruit ballplayers and executives to endorse this effort to assist American Life League’s “Campus for Life.”
American Life League opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger, according to their website. ALL has connections to some of the most radical anti-abortion individuals in the country, including some of ALL’s own staff. Other individuals associated with the group are well known anti-abortion figures in extremist circles. Father Norman Weslin accompanied the “Crossroads Walkers,” an ALL youth outreach group, on much of their summer of 2002 tour. Father Weslin is the leader of the Lambs of Christ, a radical Catholic nomadic anti-abortion group, whose tactics have included invading abortion clinics and chaining and locking themselves to medical equipment. Weslin is a long-time associate of James Kopp, the indicted assassin of Dr. Barnett Slepian. Kopp traveled extensively with the Lambs of Christ and was their “teacher” on his “lock and block” techniques for disrupting clinics. Joe Scheidler, a “friend” of the group and frequent speaker at their conferences, is best known for his militant and violent tactics outside of clinics in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, Scheidler publicly denounces violence but continues to contradict himself; at an American Life League conference in 2002 Scheidler announced during his speech, “We are the church militant. We are the Army of God.”
Media Resources: Arizona Republic 2/22/03; American Life League website; Planned Parenthood 2/26/03; New York Times 3/21/99; Feminist Majority Foundation