Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dispatches From The Birmingham Protests

In light of Gloria Feldt’s excellent column detailing the ongoing Operation Rescue/Operation Save America weeklong protest in Birmingham, Alabama, I wanted to post some first-person blogger reportage of the scene. So far the local paper, The Birmingham News, only offers a few, very dry dispatches. Today’s headline “Abortion protest trouble-free.”

Various reproductive rights groups are in the area counter-protesting (or as I like to think of it, making sure the women in Alabama are allowed to figure out their own lives without judgmental, violent protestors harassing them every step of the way.) The National Abortion Federation has a staffer in the field, but that’s about all I could find so far for scene coverage. I’m happy to post links to any bloggers covering the protest.

This is from the Birmingham News.

Kim Adams, coordinator of the Alabama Reproductive Freedom Summer counter-protest and president of the Greater Birmingham National Organization for Women.

The clinics were open, with more than a dozen supporters standing guard, she said.

"There was no engagement between the two sides," Adams said. "We consider it a bust. They haven't had that many people out today."

I spoke to Larry Rodick, president/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Alabama. He told me the protestors have been divided between the local Planned Parenthood clinic and the New Woman All Women Health Care site, with latter getting most of them.

But so far his impression is that Operation Rescue didn’t get nearly the numbers of protestors reported by The Birmingham News. For example, Rodick says there were roughly 20 protestors outside the Planned Parenthood site, all of whom then left when it started raining.

But there’s also a breaking development today in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The group is reporting they managed to stir up some trouble for West Alabama's Women’s Center, which seems to have been ambushed by the group. I’ll post news coverage as it become available.

---Rachel Joy Larris

1 comment:

Kathy said...

The news coverage has been pretty sparse here. The Birmingham News did have an article today about the arrest.