Update: Anti-Abortion Protestors Target Birmingham and Wichita

Anti-abortion protestors have gathered in both Birmingham, Alabama and Wichita, Kansas to target women’s health and abortion clinics. Feminist Majority Foundation senior field staff has been on the ground in both cities.

The protest in Birmingham — dubbed “Back to Birmingham” — is a week-long event organized by Operation Save America. On Saturday, 28 protestors gathered at the New Women, All Women clinic, which was the scene of a fatal bombing by anti-abortion extremists Eric Rupert Rudolph in 1998. Protestors’ attempts at yelling passages from the bible and driving the so-called “Truth Truck,” which features graphic images, in front of the clinic were halted by law enforcement for violating a federal injunction.

At a counter-protest, a group of pro-choice activists coordinated by Alabama National Organization for Women rallied on Saturday to show support for reproductive rights and freedom in Alabama. Emily Lyons, who was formerly a nurse at the New Women, All Women clinic and was seriously injured in the 1998 bombing, shared her survival story with the crowd, saying, “It is time to let [the anti-abortion protestors] know their intentions are not welcome’ They are attempting to push what is left of the abortion industry into a deep grave. Rudolph tried to put me in a grave, but I am still here,” reports the Birmingham News.

On Sunday in Birmingham, around 100 anti-abortion protestors visited the area outside the clinic in the morning during their permitted protest time. In the afternoon, about 40 protestors returned without a permit. Law enforcement did not require them to leave, nor did they require that the protestors stop yelling, which is a violation of the clinic’s injunction. Protestors also showed up at four local churches on Sunday, displaying graphic images of aborted fetuses.

Over the weekend in Wichita, some 130 protestors demonstrated outside Dr. Tiller’s clinic — one of the few clinics in the US that provides later-term abortions — over the course of the day. At one point, they had a band playing music, which could be heard inside the clinic. At the request of clinic staff, local police made the protestors play more quietly. Two protestors also invaded Dr. Tiller’s church, overtaking the pulpit and yelling. Both were arrested and released on bond six hours later.

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Feminist Majority Foundation; Birmingham News 7/15/07

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