Skip to comments.Anti-abortion service moved from clinic site
Posted on 06/20/2009 3:47:28 PM PDT by kathsua
WICHITA - About 30 members of anti-abortion groups met Saturday at the headquarters of Operation Rescue for a memorial service and to pray for healing from the shooting death of abortion provider George Tiller.
They later laid flowers at various locations.
"This is a time for healing and life," the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, head of the Washington-based Christian Defense Coalition told those attending. "We're not celebrating the death of Dr. Tiller."
Tiller was shot to death in his church May 31.
Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., has been charged with first-degree and aggravated assault in the case. He is being held in the Sedgwick County jail.
The abortion opponents spent about 20 minutes praying for the city and Tiller's family inside the office at 3013 E. Central, which was an abortion clinic until Operation Rescue bought it in 2006.
The groups had originally planned to convene outside the Women's Health Care Services on East Kellogg, the site of Tiller's former clinic. His family closed the clinic less than two weeks ago.
But after learning the Kansas chapter of National Organization of Women planned to counter-protest at the East Kellogg clinic, the abortion opponents switched locations.
"We're not interested in confrontation," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. "We're praying for healing and that Wichita would become a city of life."
Mahoney said, "If there was going to be a disruption, we didn't want it to be at Tiller's clinic."
The service on East Central was held without any disruption.
More than 40 abortion rights supporters still gathered at the East Kellogg clinic shortly before noon, sheltering themselves with umbrellas from a steady rain.
"They decided to move, and I respect that," said Marla Patrick, state coordinator for the Kansas National Organization of Women. "They never should have considered coming here in the first place.
"We're here to prevent them from dancing on the proverbial grave of a murdered man. We don't want them to go unchallenged."
After their service, the abortion opponents carried flowers instead of the usual signs.
They divided up 3,000 flowers between three locations and hoped to also place some at Tiller's former clinic.
Mahoney said the 3,000 flowers represented the number of abortions that Tiller's clinic averaged each year.
After leaving some flowers at the East Central site, the group walked a couple of blocks to lay flowers in front of the Wesley Medical Center.
He said the medical center was chosen because it is a symbol of healing and life, but that also women who have had abortions have been treated there.
"We're turning a new page in Wichita's history," Mahoney said.
More flowers were laid at the site of a former abortion clinic at Pine and Market streets.
The abortion opponents said they would wait to put flowers outside Tiller's former clinic after the counter-protesters had left.
But the abortion rights supporters, who began ordering pizza by mid-afternoon, said they would stay there all night if necessary.
Newman said his group would probably place the flowers at the clinic at a later date.
"Let them hold on," he said. "All they're doing is guarding a closed clinic."
Three anti-abortion organizations set up the vigil and service for what has been titled "A Time for Healing...A time for Life.
Despite the rain, Mahoney began a "peace" walk Saturday morning from the city's west edge. He walked along Central instead of the previously planned Kellogg path because of the site change and construction along Kellogg.
Mahoney was initially joined on the walk by two others, Newman and Bubby Hudson, the pastor at the Living Word Outreach.
They had gone only a few miles before a van picked them up and took them to the noon service on East Central. Mahoney said would resume his walk later Saturday, continuing from where he left off and finish on Wichita's east edge.
Mahoney and other abortion opponents also prayed at Mid-Continent Airport because he said women flew in there to have abortions performed in Wichita.
Of course, the pro-deathers’ MSM-programmed knee-jerk response to hearing about the coming service was to expect the anti-abortion group to be “dancing on [Tiller’s] grave.”
Why would anyone do that, when he has damned his own soul already.
How about the souls of those unborn babies murdered by Tiller? Where are their flowers?