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Abortion activists hijack College Republicans event with lawmaker investigating Planned Parenthood

‘If I weren’t effective, people wouldn’t be upset’

The College Republicans chapter at the University of Missouri failed to outsmart abortion-rights activists who crashed their Friday night meet-and-greet with Republican state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, who is running for attorney general.

More than two dozen protesters stood outside the campus meeting room, chanting “don’t vote for Kurt,” as Schaefer’s campaign staff stood outside the door. A few protesters pressed signs against the room’s windows.

Scott Dieckhaus, Schaefer’s campaign manager, said advertising the event publicly on Facebook was a mistake. “It should have been a private event,” he told protesters gathered outside the room.


Schaefer is loathed among the activists for his investigation of Planned Parenthood as chairman of the Committee on the Sanctity of Life, which has probed the organization’s procedures for handling and disposing of aborted fetal tissue.

“We’ve been very successful in shutting down Planned Parenthood and making sure that life is protected and people get upset,” Schaefer told The College Fix after the event. “If I weren’t effective, people wouldn’t be upset.”

Misdirection to avoid ‘Silly Heathens’

Abortion-rights activists have been hassling Mizzou since the start of the school year.

Under pressure from the Legislature, Mizzou ended a program in September that gave students course credit for working in Planned Parenthood clinics, according to the Associated Press. The same month, MU Health Care ended “refer and follow” privileges that had allowed a doctor to perform abortions at Planned Parenthood’s Columbia clinic.

Mizzou College Republicans were only expecting their own members at the Schaefer meet-and-greet, which was originally scheduled as a dinner at The Heidelberg restaurant, plus a few invitees from Mizzou Students for Life.


CRs created the event on Facebook in mid-April, promising free food courtesy of Schaefer’s campaign.

Within days dozens of RSVPs by non-members and curious spectacle-seekers threatened to overwhelm the intimate meeting with the candidate, who represents the college town of Columbia in the Legislature.


The Guild of Silly Heathens (GOSH), a Columbia group supporting Planned Parenthood, advertised the event on Facebook as a “Free Kurt Schaefer Medical Consultation.” It invited attendees to ask Schaefer “burning questions about your very special baby making equipment.”

Facing the threat of a public-relations disaster for Schaefer, the Mizzou CRs deleted the Facebook page for the event just three hours before it was scheduled to begin.


But the group was already making alternate arrangements, even misleading the media.

In a Facebook message Friday, CRs President Sarah Garza told The Fix that the event had in fact been canceled. Another member confirmed to The Fix that the event was merely being relocated in secret, however.


Protesters figured out the ruse even faster. Within two hours of canceling the event the CRs had booked a room on campus in the Student Center, but Planned Parenthood supporters – some of whom were already waiting at The Heidelberg – got wind of the new location.

Several Schaefer critics were waiting inside the room when CRs arrived around 6 p.m., beating journalists and Schaefer’s own campaign staff as well.



“I’m a constituent,” one unidentified protester told the CRs in an audio recording of the exchange that Progress Missouri posted to SoundCloud. “It’s not a private event if it’s in a university building.”

“Does anyone know how much work went to, to get this room?” one man, apparently an organizer for the Schaefer event, can be heard asking.

After some deliberation between Schaefer’s campaign staff and the CRs, the protesters were allowed to stay.

Failed politician helps abortion activists intimidate pro-lifers

“I can see why there’s a lot of people upset with what’s going on,” Schaefer told the room’s audience, which included a few protesters, over a din of chants outside. “But you know what? It’s not going to deter me and it’s not going to stop me.”

One protester who made it inside the event, Mizzou grad student and former Columbia councilmember Ginny Chadwick, asked Schaefer if his domestic terrorism bill could be read to include violence against abortion clinics.

“It could be, according to the circumstances – yes,” Schaefer said.

At a Planned Parenthood “Pink Out” rally in September at Mizzou, Chadwick was captured on video appearing to instruct a fellow activist on how to respond to a pro-life counterprotest (0:28). The video shows the activist pushing Mizzou CRs president Skyler Roundtree out of the way.

Chadwick resigned as First Ward councilmember in January 2015, less than a year after her election, rather than face a recall election triggered by marijuana-decriminalization activists who accused her of breaking a campaign promise.


DISCLAIMER: On the Saturday before the CRs event with Schaefer, the author was blocked and cursed at by supporters of Melissa Click, the former Mizzou communications professor, at another Guild of Silly Heathens event in front of a Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic.

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About the Author
Mark Schierbecker -- University of Missouri