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Abortion Foes Win Protest Right

July 17, 2001|From Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. — A judge overruled the city Monday and said abortion opponents can hold marches this week outside the clinic of one of the few doctors in the nation to perform late-term abortions.

The ruling came as hundreds of demonstrators, in town for a renewal of the Summer of Mercy anti-abortion protests that crippled Wichita a decade ago, took to the streets to demand an end to abortion. They read Bible verses over a loudspeaker as they marched through downtown.

Judge Thomas Marten ruled that the city improperly denied the demonstrators' group, Operation Save America, a parade permit for marches near the clinic of Dr. George Tiller.

The clinic was bombed in 1985, and Tiller was shot and wounded in 1993, two years after the first Summer of Mercy in Wichita. During those 1991 protests, anti-abortion demonstrators besieged Tiller's clinic. Marten said the group would be allowed to parade for one hour twice a day during this week's demonstrations.

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