One week in the life of the pro-life movement

National | Inside and outside the Beltway, life issues take center stage

Issue: "Fighting Cultural Ebonics," Feb. 1, 1997

**red_square** Thursday, Jan. 16

Several hours after the bombing of a building housing an abortion business in Atlanta, pro-life groups quickly took the initiative and unequivocally condemned the violence. In Houston, pro-lifers took on local abortion businesses peacefully: 100 Houston-area pastors, representing every major denomination, independent and charismatic churches, and the Catholic diocese gathered in the sanctuary of one of Houston's largest churches, First United Methodist, and committed to raising $250,000 to place 22 pro-life billboards advertising a toll-free telephone number throughout the city for a year. The $58,000 that was pledged that day will pay for the first seven billboards, one near each Carenet center, meeting organizer Ray Sanders said.

The meeting came at the urging of some of Houston's major church pastors, including William Hinton of First Methodist, Ed Young of Second Baptist, and John Bisango of First Baptist. Lana Sanders, who with her husband Ray, the executive director of Houston's Crisis Pregnancy Center Central, helped plan the meeting, said, &quotThere were men there that pro-life groups have never been able to get through the door before."

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The pastors hope to encourage pregnant women to seek help at local crisis pregnancy centers rather than abortion clinics--and cut into the 40,000 abortions that occur each year in Houston.

**red_square** Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17 and 18

About 300 male and female activists, most under the age of 30, began three days of demonstrations and prayer vigils at Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. At the demonstrations, people carried huge four-by-five foot signs picturing aborted babies. It looked as if this would be the only chance the demonstrators would have to let the president know their views since the Interior Department had rejected their request for a permit along the inaugural parade route.

Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition had been denied a permit by the Department of the Interior, which threatened to arrest abortion protesters along Pennsylvania Avenue. On Jan. 16, Judge Harold Greene ruled against his group; Mr. Mahoney appealed, but by Saturday he still had not heard.

Fifteen pro-lifers, including priests and nuns, were arrested for lying down in front of an abortion business in Englewood, N.J. A half-week later, 11 of the 15 were still in jail after refusing to reveal their names.

**red_square** Sunday, Jan. 19

While President and Mrs. Clinton listened to encouraging words at Foundry Methodist Church Sunday morning, 100 Christian Defense Coalition activists braved the frigid cold and prayed outside on the church steps.

For Emily's List, the pro-abortion PAC, the Lord's Day was a chance to rake in money. At its fundraising luncheon, scheduled not to interfere with Washington's other favorite sabbath activity, the morning political talk shows, the PAC held a fundraising luncheon to honor the new pro-abortion Democratic congresswomen.

Hours later, witnesses in Tulsa, Okla., heard two booms as a bomb or bombs exploded outside Reproductive Services abortion business, injuring no one. The same abortion clinic had been firebombed on New Year's Day, and Tulsa police were not saying whether the two acts were related. The FBI took over the Tulsa investigation because of the earlier bombing in Atlanta and the approaching anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision.

Back in Washington, 2,300 pro-lifers attended a National Memorial for the Pre-Born and their Mothers and Fathers at Hylton Chapel in Northern Virginia, where pro-life celebrities like Armstrong Williams spoke.

In good news for the Christian Defense Coalition and bad news for the president, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency order barring the government from interfering with CDC demonstrators along the inaugural parade route down Pennsylvania Avenue. The court said the government cannot &quotrender the inaugural celebration a private event or change the character of a quintessential public forum--the sidewalks lining the parade route."

**red_square** Inauguration Day

Twenty-five CDC protesters took up positions along Pennsylvania Avenue to display their large signs of an aborted baby. The activists were outnumbered by thousands of offended Clinton supporters who jeered at them, called them sick, or told them to go to hell.

In Atlanta, volunteers at the Gwinnett Crisis Pregnancy Center arrived and found the center vandalized, the bolt lock spray-painted shut, and a note that read, &quotStop the fake clinics. Stop the bombings. It's time to fight back." Two other metro Atlanta area CPCs were also targets of vandals.

On a slope near the Washington Monument, 100 college students, members of Collegians Activated to Liberate Life, assembled at 5:30 a.m. to set up 3,200 small white crosses in a Cemetery of Innocents. Each cross stood for one child that is killed every day by abortion.


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