Remembering Jim Sedlak (1943-2022)
There is not a single person who would not, when writing about Jim Sedlak’s motivations in fighting Planned Parenthood, instantly encounter his deep love and devotion to the Blessed Mother.
For those of us in the office at American Life League, there are several mementos that instantly strike you: his reading glasses—which were typically perched at the very edge of his nose while he would pore over spreadsheets and news articles (Jim was, if nothing else, an IBM man of the old school)—resting on a small pile of spiral notepads, each with his small, yet legible, scribbling; a notable pile of memoranda and articles lying about the desk; an inexhaustible container of pretzels; a handful of pens; and a recently installed microphone for his weekly radio shows.
Yet, of all the items piled in and around Jim’s desk, there was a small space for one book that was never missing and that was seemingly always being picked up—a small blue book familiar to some and entitled The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. No conversation with Jim Sedlak could ever escape what he believed in his heart—that Planned Parenthood and the scourge of abortion would end through Mary’s intercession.
St. Louis de Montfort’s devotion to the Blessed Mother was something Jim shared with many as well, and for those of us privileged to hear him speak about such things, there was humility combined with a humor that you could hear in the small laugh and see behind the light in his eyes. For Jim and those who knew him, his devotion to the Blessed Mother and trust in divine providence were outward reminders of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s admonishment that one could never love Mary too much because one could never love her more than Christ did.
I can remember talking to Jim about the Marian Blue Wave campaign inspired by Bishop Joseph Strickland and the speed at which the enforcement of Canon 915 took in its aftermath. Jim would nod, smile, and with a wave of his finger give every ounce of credit to the Blessed Mother. That was that. Mary would end abortion. All we had to do was quit doing it our way and start doing it Mary’s way.
Jim Sedlak was a powerfully imposing man. Even as he grew older, Jim still towered over most. Yet, even after he acquired that cane, it was something else to see him physically energized whenever the topic of taking on Planned Parenthood came up. His demeanor never changed, but you could tell he was on fire, and you could not help but feel ready to charge the hill when Jim Sedlak was leading that charge.
In his more than 40 years of pro-life work, Jim Sedlak’s relentless campaign against Planned Parenthood would torment the nation’s number one abortion provider to no end. Countless parents’ groups and community pro-life organizations saw Stop Planned Parenthood International (STOPP) as a resource for organization, information, and above all, encouragement. Planned Parenthood knew the source of the strength of the man it was up against, for Jim relied upon Mary’s strength.
In that lies the secret to Jim Sedlak’s example and relentless ministry. It is said that true courage can only come from humility, precisely because the humble soul relies not upon his own strength but the strength of God. Humility is the one virtue the devil hates most of all because it is the one virtue the devil’s pride cannot imitate. Jim Sedlak never sought notoriety or headlines, but he always looked for ways to expose Planned Parenthood for the soul-stealing organization that it is—an entirely secularist and humanist organization that devalues the human person and aggressively destroys human beings with ferocity and a hunger that reason alone cannot destroy. Only faith. Only Mary.
I will add one caveat. While Jim relied upon the Blessed Mother for spiritual strength, his ministry was not entirely his alone. His wife, Michaeleen Sedlak—whom friends and family lovingly know as Mike—was Jim’s constant companion and guardian in life. Her steady encouragement and ability to cut through the fog and miasma of the age and say what clearly needed to be done is, and will remain, a gift. In addition to his loving wife, Jim leaves behind three children, numerous grandchildren, and countless friends, colleagues, and associates who will remember and carry forward his legacy and example.
Planned Parenthood might mistakenly have breathed a sigh of relief at the news that Jim Sedlak had gone home to God. But the fools, the fools, the fools—now the babies have Jim Sedlak right next to his most important counselor! What, I wonder, is Jim asking of and planning with the Blessed Mother right now? Only good, I know, and I hope we are ready for it.
The fight to end Planned Parenthood continues.
Please join me in remembering and praying for the soul of a good and humble man, Mr. James W. Sedlak.
Requiescat in pace, my friend.
Deep in the Heart of Texas
Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton, has sued Planned Parenthood Federation of America and several of its locations in Texas in an effort to recoup ten million dollars in payments made by the state’s Medicaid program. According to the January 13 press release: “The lawsuit states that the Planned Parenthood entities knew they were not entitled to retain the payments but have failed to repay them as program rules require.”
According to Paxton: “It is unthinkable that Planned Parenthood would continue to take advantage of funding knowing they were not entitled to keep it.” He continued: “I will not allow them to benefit from this abhorrent conduct after they were caught violating medical standards and lying to law enforcement.”
Planned Parenthood said the lawsuit was “another political attack,” and it argues that the funds it received did not pay for abortion services, which of course is a matter of semantics when dealing with any organization that profits on the death of babies.
In its usual style, Planned Parenthood is calling foul. “Planned Parenthood will continue to fight back against all of these false accusations and political attacks and will continue serving patients in Texas—no matter what,” Planned Parenthood general counsel Kumiki Gibson stated. But this story has deep roots that Planned Parenthood can ill afford to ignore.
In 2016, the state of Texas officially filed to remove Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid recipient, serving the organization with a final notice of termination. That is when the legal battle began. While it continues today, one can only hope that Paxton’s drive to not only retrieve the state Medicaid funding of ten million but to regain all of the fees, penalties, and interest that have accrued since the 2016 action will come to fruition.
The Abortion Pill
The use of chemical abortion has continued to rise due in part to the existence of COVID and the convenience of using telemedicine as a way to end the life of a preborn child. Operation Rescue has kept a close eye on this, and in its report The Status of American Abortion Facilities: Telemedicine’s Impact in 2021, it stated that the
number of abortion facilities in the U.S. increased in 2021, to the highest levels in 13 years, according to results from Operation Rescue’s annual survey of U.S. abortion facilities. Today there is a total of 720 in the U.S. – 14 more than were operating in 2020. This represents the largest increase in abortion facilities since Operation Rescue began tracking them in 2009.
A total of 41 new abortion locations opened or resumed abortions in 2021, while there were 27 abortion facilities that closed or halted abortions. At the end of 2021, there were eight additional facilities that had temporarily suspended abortions until further notice but were expected to resume theme in the near future. (emphasis in original)
Planned Parenthood has taken full advantage of these relaxed guidelines. In fact, it now offers the mail-order abortion pill even though it has been revealed that some state-run insurance plans will not pay for the abortion, at least not now.
But in South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem’s telemedicine ban on these pills, including RU-486 (Mifepristone), became state law, and Planned Parenthood is screaming foul. According to one report:
The new rule makes it harder for pregnant people to access abortion pills, mandating patients take two prescribed medications for a medical abortion in-person at a licensed abortion provider, namely Planned Parenthood’s clinic in Sioux Falls.
Pregnant people also have to wait an additional two weeks following the administration of the abortion medications for a follow-up appointment with Planned Parenthood.
Notice that “pregnant people” are being inconvenienced by the new law, though we would have preferred to identify these women by their proper name—expectant mothers. And as is always the case, anything that stands in the way of Planned Parenthood’s bottom line is an inconvenience for this organization.
Planned Parenthood president Alexis McGill Johnson explains the obvious as PP’s worldview was greatly enhanced by the FDA decision. McGill Johnson suggested that the new rule is a “victory for public health and health equity.” She said the FDA “followed the science,” even though the scientific fact is that a preborn child’s life begins at her biological beginning, and this pill can kill her at any time during her first eight weeks of life! This is why the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists executive director Donna Harrison, MD, calls the pill nothing more than a “chemical coat hanger.”
Abortion rights are clearly at the forefront of the effort to deny human rights, including the right to be born alive.
Bad News Shorts
Tennessee: Planned Parenthood recently experienced an alleged arson attempt at one of its centers that was closed for renovations. While veiled finger-pointing swirled in the air, including a comment by Vanderbilt’s Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center director Rory Dicker that the fire “unfortunately reflects many people’s attitudes about abortion in Tennessee,” the facts thus far suggest to us that perhaps those who earn their profit margins over the bodies of the babies have little to no conscience in other matters as well. Hopefully a full investigation will lead to honest answers.
California: Governor Gavin Newsom has never been one to keep his politics and his views on aborting children separate, so when the US Supreme Court chose to let the Texas abortion regulation law stand, Newsome proclaimed: “I am outraged by yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing Texas’s ban on most abortion services to remain in place, and largely endorsing Texas’s scheme to insulate its law from the fundamental protections of Roe v. Wade.” Newsome governs one of the most pro-abortion states in our nation and comments from his personal belief in abortion plus his affection for his cronies at Planned Parenthood—an organization that is working hard to make California an abortion haven.
Planned Parenthood Federation president Alexis McGill Johnson said, “While the Court did not put a complete end to our legal challenge, its failure to stop Texas’s deliberate nullification of the constitutional right to abortion within its borders makes the Court complicit in widespread chaos and harm to Texans, and responsible for giving the green light for other states to circumvent the constitution through copycat laws.”
Both Newsom and McGill Johnson are spreading the false narrative that it is constitutional to kill babies by acts of abortion. Both are wrong, but both stand to lose a great deal if the Supreme Court ever actually examines the science and recognizes the preborn child as a human being.
Nebraska: In Lincoln, a 45-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly threatened pro-life advocates with a piece of rebar. The pro-lifers were peacefully demonstrating outside an abortion facility when the man, Anthony Ladd, 45, of South Sioux City, threatened a 59-year-old woman and 64-year-old man outside the Planned Parenthood abortion facility. According to Life News, “This is the second report of violent threats being made against Nebraska pro-life advocates in less than a week.”
We recognize abortion as among the most violent of crimes in our nation today, and we look forward to the day when reporters will connect the dots so that they too can see that violence leads to violence, even when the victims are innocent preborn babies.
Ohio: Last year, Ohio enacted a law requiring abortion clinics to either cremate or bury the remains of aborted babies rather than disposing of them as though they were medical waste or trash.
“With the help of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, abortion clinics sued the state over the law last spring, arguing that it is both ‘frivolous and medically unnecessary’ and an unconstitutional limit on the supposed right to abortion. A judge sided with the challengers, temporarily prohibiting enforcement of the law based on the claim that the law lacked specific guidelines and made compliance unworkable,” wrote Alexandra DeSanctis.
Not only that, but those who kill babies are brash enough to call the new policy a violation of “abortion rights.” If that makes any sense to you at all, please let us know here at the WEDNESDAY STOPP REPORT office.
Good News Shorts
Minnesota: Students from Chesterton Academy in Hopkins regularly get into several vehicles and SUVs, head 15 miles to St. Paul, and pray a Rosary in front of Planned Parenthood. They are members of the self-described “pro-life generation.” These Crusaders for Life, as they call themselves, are sorrowful about the babies being aborted inside Planned Parenthood but at the same time joyful to be honoring those babies by making their voices heard in a united effort.
Jack Berg, a freshman and one of six children, put it best when he said: “When I see a baby, the amount of joy that comes to my face is unbelievable. . . . And to think of that life being taken every day in multiple (abortion) clinics all around the world, that’s just a dagger in my heart.”
New Hampshire: January 12 was a big day in the Granite State. On that day the New Hampshire Executive Council “rejected for the third time in five months a proposal to give $1 million to three abortion facilities for ‘family planning’ services. But even though Planned Parenthood argued that not a penny would go for abortion, pro-life activists have said the “fungibility of dollars means that any money that goes to Planned Parenthood and other facilities ends up underwriting abortions.” We know from years of experience that this is exactly what happens. After all, when money gets into the hands of groups that kill babies, they have but one thing in mind when they receive flexible dollars. Fungible money is blood money in their hands.
Wisdom from Jim Sedlak, founder of Stop Planned Parenthood International (1943-2022)
“When people ask why we oppose Planned Parenthood, we tell them that it is because PP is only concerned with sex education, birth control, and abortion. It targets our children and comes between parents and their children. And it does it all with our tax money.”