WICHITA, KAN. — Police arrested 51 anti-abortion protesters outside the same clinic where hundreds of demonstrators were arrested last year.
More than 200 protesters gathered Tuesday on streets near Women's Health Care Services, a clinic operated by Dr. George Tiller, who has been a target of anti-abortion demonstrations because he performs late-term abortions.
Forty-two protesters were arrested on streets adjacent to the clinic, said police Capt. Norman Williams. Nine others were arrested at a nearby intersection. None made it onto clinic grounds, police said.
John Cowles, a lawyer for Dr. Tiller, said all the patients who came to the clinic were able to get into the clinic. About 60 abortion-rights advocates were on hand.
The protesters likely will face charges ranging from interfering with a lawful business to criminal trespass, police said.
The protests Tuesday, sponsored by the Wichita Rescue Movement and the Lambs of Christ, began what leaders say will be a week of demonstrations outside the city's three clinics.
Police plan to ask courts to jail protesters who don't post bond to prevent them from returning to clinics while awaiting trial. They want to prevent a recurrence of last year's protests, in which some people were arrested as many as a dozen times, often more than once a day.