“Rochester was chosen because it’s a needy place. We’ve got difficult problems and the gospel is the solution. It’s a solution for the violence in our city streets. It’s a solution for the number of children killed through abortion. Sixty a week,” Warren said.
In its flyer for the event, the group singles out several places it calls abortion facilities: Strong and Highland hospitals, Planned Parenthood and local doctors. Those are the places where law enforcement expects the group will protest.
“I wouldn’t call them protests. I call them gospel outreaches. We’re basically going to have church on the street,” said Warren.
Meghan Castagno of Rochester WELD says Rochester’s social justice groups take issue with Operation Save America’s anti-choice, anti-gay and anti-Islam message. She says throughout this week they plan to have legal observers at the protests, non-violence training events and evening talks and lectures. A rally is planned for Saturday.
“We would not like to counter-protest directly their actions. We don’t want to escalate the issue any further. Additionally, we feel women would like anonymity and dignity when they go into these facilities,” Castagno said.
Operation Save America has scheduled several of its protests in Brighton. Police Chief Mark Henderson says they are aware of the events planned and have met with everyone they believe may be the focus of those protests. Chief Henderson says while they expect everything to be peaceful, they are working to be prepared for whatever may happen.
“We have officers detailed. It’s an eight-day event that’s advertised. We have adjusted staffing levels within Town of Brighton,” Henderson said.
We’re hoping that all this planning and all this preparation is for naught. What it was was good networking, good communication among the agencies. We’re prepared.”
Police leaders from Rochester, Greece, Gates, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police have been meeting for weeks. Chief Henderson says there’s not only concern for community members, but for the safety of the protesters themselves. Some who disagree with the group have taken issue with the graphic nature of its pictures and tactics.
“We’re not getting into discussion as to what’s appropriate to view or show or have out there on a protest,” Henderson said. “If the District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s office deems that to be inappropriate or unlawful, we’ll take action.”
The places where the protests are planned say they’re also prepared.
Warren says there’s no reason to expect any violence.
“We’re not pointing the finger at anybody else. That’s not the goal of this event. We’re pointing the finger at ourselves as Christians.”
By Kate O’Connell
Planned Parenthood and gay-friendly churches are among several locations in Monroe County to be targeted with protests, but, local officials say no trouble is expected.
Up to 200 people from the national organization will join with local pro-life group Rescue Rochester to kick off the week-long conference this Wednesday.
Rescue Rochester member Mike Warren says there’s no easy answer to the issue of abortions, but one thing is clear, it won’t be solved politically any time soon.
He says it’s up to the church.
“We’ve embraced death as a solution for so long that the gospel really has to impact people’s hearts and it’s got to come through the church. The church is the one entity that can really impart the value of life and the sanctity of life.”
At Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Erin Cabral says protests are part of the norm, and it will be business as usual.
“It’s actually not disruptive because protest activity is part of our business, so throughout the entire protest we’ll be operating business as usual,” says Cabral.
“Whether it’s one protester or 100, it doesn’t impact on our ability to deliver health care and we always ensure that our patients know that.”
She says events like this are generally peaceful, but it does make some patients uncomfortable. And, it’s important to remember that not all of their clients are there for abortion services.
“People come to us for a variety of reasons such as cancer screenings for cervical cancer, breast health screenings, rape crisis service, birth control, family planning counseling.”
Cabral says the clinic does not encourage counter protests during events like this. She says it just adds to the anxiety of patients who may already be nervous about the demonstrations.
“It just creates a chaotic environment for our patients. They don’t necessarily see pro-choice and anti-choice protesters, they see a large group of people that will impact their confidentiality and potentially their safety.”
Protests are set to run throughout the community for a week and Rescue Rochester member Mike Warren says among the events will be a memorial service for an unborn child. He says this could include an open casket containing an aborted fetus.
Warren says although this may be confronting for some, his group sees it as a start to the healing process.
“When women, or men who’ve been involved in an abortion decision, come and that reality hits them when they see that little baby, that’s the start of healing. It’s like that callous over your heart, that hidden area is exposed.”
Operation Save America members will be in Rochester until July 31st.
Yesterday with great joy we received the first order of our newest book, Abortion Violation: America’s Premiere National Security Issue. You can order from the link above on Tate Publishing’s website or you can order directly from us. if you plan on getting more than one copy, it would be better to order from us. Here is the breakdown of the discounts.
1 book-$25.00 plus shipping
3 books-$22.00 a copy, plus shipping.
5 books-$20.00 a copy, plus shipping
10 books or more-$18.00 a copy, plus shipping.
This has been a labor of love. It will not only upset the pro-aborts, but others as well. Theologically, it pulls no punches. We pray the Lord use this book to touch hearts, change minds, and help defeat the culture of death savaging our nation in Jesus’ mighty name!
If or when you read it, could you write us a short testimony or endorsement to help promote the book abroad? It will be released on the national stage June 25th. It will help for folks to write reviews once it hits Amazon and other outlets as well. Thank you!
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