Cultural Revolutions

Abortuary Hero

Wayne Webster’s Rockford abortuary takes the lives of about 35 babies per week.  In that same time frame, however, there are two or three “turnarounds”—mothers who decide at the last moment not to execute their children.  The most likely cause is the doughty band of Christians who gather to pray outside the slaughterhouse on the two days of the week that it is open.

To Webster, turnarounds mean lost revenue, so he has tried a variety of tactics to scare the Christians away, including hanging rubber chickens in the windows of the former public school that serves as his mill, appearing outside dressed in a devil costume, threatening to spray the contents of a sewage tank on them (this, as one blogger points out, in front of a “women’s health facility”), and blasting heavy metal from loudspeakers mounted in trees in order to drown out their calls to pregnant women.

These efforts pale alongside the help his neighbor provides.  It’s not clear whether Keith Sterkeson is in Webster’s pay or if he simply acts out of his devotion to killing the yet-to-be-born, but his modus operandi is to holler profanity-laced insults and racial slurs at the faithful who are telling their beads and begging pregnant women to reconsider.  Lengthy clips of Sterkeson’s performances are available online, but watching them is hardly edifying.  (At one point,...

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