The Rockford Files

An Arresting Moment

Five years ago, I wrote of the horror that Aaron Wolf and I experienced as we spent a morning photographing the old Turner School here in Rockford.  Built in 1898, the massive brick-and-stone structure was closed 80 years later by a school board attempting in vain to avoid a lawsuit over busing.  Today, little effort is being made to maintain the exterior, and weeds grow up in the lawn out front and the former playground in back.  Four or five days out of every week, passersby might assume that the building is still shuttered.

Would that it were.  Instead, for the last quarter of a century, it has been the home of the Northern Illinois Women’s Clinic—the antiseptic-sounding name for Rockford’s only abortuary.

It has another name, too.  The building’s current owner, Wayne Webster, dubbed it “Fort Turner,” but its walls offer no protection—certainly not to the children whose lives end there, but neither to the mothers who may spend the rest of their lives in regret over having sacrificed their daughters on the altar of “women’s rights,” nor to the fathers who pay for the ritual murder of their sons.

And if the antics of Wayne Webster over the years—dressing up like the devil to harass pro-lifers praying the rosary on the sidewalk outside the clinic; trying to drown out their prayers by shouting obscenities over loudspeakers he has mounted on the...

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