[Operation Rescue Wichita]

A large anti-abortion rally in Wichita, KS is part of a six-week campaign by pro-life organization Operation Rescue. The protests have divided the community and its religious leaders.

0:01Copy video clip URL A six-week campaign by pro-life organization Operation Rescue has resulted in over 2500 arrests. 25,000 people came to Wichita, KS for one of the largest anti-abortion rallies ever held. Pro-choice groups have largely been avoiding confrontation, but national leaders have arrived in Wichita to support abortion rights. The issue has been divisive in Kansas. Elizabeth Brackett speaks to two sisters – one is a pro-choice activist, and the other is with Operation Rescue.

3:34Copy video clip URL The issue has also been divisive among religious leaders. Reverend George Gardner of Religious Leaders for Choice counters the claim made by some leaders that one must be pro-life in order to be Christian. However, many local clergy responded to Operation Rescue’s call to action.

5:28Copy video clip URL Operation Rescue targeted Wichita partly because of the large number of fundamentalist churches it could count on for support, and because late-term abortions are held at a local clinic. Federal marshals had taken over the job of escorting patients through the protest into the clinic. A federal judge issued an injunction ordering the protesters to stop blocking access to the clinics. Operation Rescue began importing protesters from out of town, until more than half were not from Wichita. Brackett speaks to two protesters who drove in from San Antonio, TX.

7:32Copy video clip URL The local community will have to confront the rift which has been caused by the divisive protests. The two sisters talk about the effects of their differing stances on abortion. Christie, who is pro-choice, has tried to avoid confrontation with her sister by avoiding certain family gatherings. Rev. Gardner has called ministers supporting abortion rights together to draft a letter asking Operation Rescue to leave Wichita.

10:29Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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