Police, Activists Train for "Operation Save America"
Last fall, anti-abortion activists pledged that they would hold widespread anti-abortion protests at several upstate New York high schools and health clinics that offer abortion services. Last Call Ministries' Robert Behn proclaimed, "I think God has chosen Buffalo as a battleground where He's going to fight abortion with great strength."
The protests, known as "Operation Save America," will target a series of clinics in and around the cities of Buffalo and Rochester during the days of April 18 through April 25. Anti-abortion leaders have sent more than 600,000 letters inviting supporters to participate in the protests.
Area police have been preparing for the protest for months. They have studied the tactics used by protestors in other demonstrations and are training their officers on how to prevent or contain possible violence. A similar protest called the "Spring of Life" resulted in about 625 arrests in 1992. Police Commissioner Rocco Diina said, "We would prefer to deter problems."
Nine abortion providers have been shot at since 1993. Three of those doctors, Dr. David Gunn, Dr. John Bayard Britton, and Dr. Barnett Slepian, were fatally wounded. Nurses and receptionists have also been injured, and security guard Robert Sanderson was killed in a Birmingham, AL clinic bombing last year.
Media Resources: AP - April 12, 1999