Protests Continue at Kansas Abortion Clinics

AT least 76 anti-abortion protesters, including 11 juveniles, were arrested over the weekend as they tried to block entrances to an abortion clinic, police said.Members of the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue moved their blockades to the Wichita Women's Center, the only one of three abortion clinics in the city not protected by a federal court order. Police Maj. John Dodson said many of the protesters refused to identify themselves at a processing station but did so after a teenager, who appeared to be a group leader, told others to give their names. "The fact that she was a juvenile made us concerned with that tactic," Major Dodson said. "Many of the Operation Rescue members seemed to be concerned, too." The teenager, who Dodson said reported her name as Jane Doe, was later identified from prior arrests at previous demonstrations. But an Operation Rescue spokesman denied that any juveniles are in leadership positions, and said juveniles are not encouraged to join the demonstrations without parental consent. Operation Rescue said the protests would probably continue. "As long as they are killing babies in this city we will continue to proceed with our plans," the spokesman said. The demonstration Saturday followed Friday's arrest of 98 people, 10 of them teenagers, who tried to form a curbside blockade around the Women's Health Care Services Clinic. Operation Rescue has coordinated a four-week protest of the Wichita abortion clinics. More than 2,100 arrests have been made at the demonstrations. The chief target is Dr. George Tiller, who is one of the few to give late-term abortions. The protesters have said they would not be stopped by US District Judge Patrick Kelly's recent orders that protesters not block clinics and that Operation Rescue put up a $100,000 bond to offset damages to the clinics. Operation Rescue attorneys said they are appealing Judge Kelly's orders to the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on grounds he has no authority to intervene.

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