Six Anti-Abortion Protestors Convicted for Behavior in Mississippi in July

The Jackson, Mississippi Municipal Court found six anti-abortion protestors guilty yesterday for charges brought against them during Operation Save America’s week-long siege of the last remaining abortion clinic in the state this summer. In total, 13 protestors faced charges of violating Jackson’s special event ordinance, disorderly conduct, impeding traffic, and disturbing the peace, according to the Clarion-Ledger. Those found guilty will be fined $100, though there is a 30-day stay on paying the fines to allow for the filing of appeals; Reverend Philip “Flip” Benham, the leader of Operation Save America (OSA) and the principal organizer of the July protest, told the Clarion-Ledger that the group plans on appealing the guilty verdicts.

The weeklong protest at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which lasted from July 15 to July 22, 2006, was an attempt to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. Despite disruptive activity, including anti-Muslim and anti-gay protests, OSA did not impede the clinic from functioning normally. The Feminist Majority Foundation assisted the clinic, providing resources, support, and community organizers to aid the clinic during OSA’s protest.

“We need to remind people how (the anti-abortion protestors) were acting… aggressive, disrespectful, and rude,” Michelle Colon, president of the Jackson chapter of the National Organization for Women, told the Clarion-Ledger. “They do what they always do, this is nothing new… These people claim to be Christians, but here they are attacking people.”

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Clarion-Ledger 12/19/06, 12/20/06; OSA press release 12/18/06; AP 12/20/06

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