Protesters prepare for what comes after Summer of Mercy (VIDEO)
UPDATE: Aug. 8, 2011, 2 p.m. EST*
The Summer of Mercy 2.0 ended Monday morning with a final protest in front of Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s abortion clinic in Germantown, Md.
But for the past nine days, Summer of Mercy leaders have been telling supporters that the larger protest must continue if they want their goals reached. The long-term goal agreed by leaders and supporters is to make abortion illegal nationwide.
The short-term goals presented were community-specific: to kick Carhart out of Germantown and to tighten abortion regulations in Maryland. All week, supporters were encouraged to fill out petitions to be sent to the Maryland Board of Physicians to revoke his medical license, citing falsehoods on his medical license application.
Perhaps a stronger tool used by speakers and leaders was the language used to describe Carhart and his late-term-abortion practice.
“On Wednesdays, babies are delivered in whole or in pieces,” said Dr. Grace Morrison, a non-practicing dental surgeon and development director of the Vitae Foundation who has been leading prayer vigils in front of Carhart’s clinic every Monday since Dec. 6.
“[Carhart's] staff told us, ‘It’s just like putting a dog to sleep,” Morrison continued. “The babies are removed on Thursday in large medical waste bags. Over a nine-month period, 60 abortions per month, that’s thousands and thousands of pounds of babies in bags. … We’ve got enough information that we must respond.”
Throughout the week, many of the Summer of Mercy leaders, including as Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, the Christian Defense Coalition’s Rev. Pat Mahoney and the Maryland Coalition for Life’s Michael Martelli, made similar statements about Carhart’s clinic, but it was Morrison who moved about 200 supporters at the Covenant Life Church on Saturday night to their feet.
“Babies are being killed and drug out in bags in your neighborhood,” she said, her generally quiet voice, growing louder.
She asked supporters to stand with her and the “Monday morning crew” every Monday in front of Carhart’s clinic at 8 a.m., to adjust their work schedules if they had to. The organized protests in front of Carhart’s clinic will not cease any time soon.
On Sunday, David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life, which stages 40-day protests outside of abortion-clinics, announced there will be a 40 Days for Life protest in front of Carhart’s clinic in mid-September.
“We’re here out of the conviction that God loves life and that we are called to rescue those being led to the slaughter,” Bereit told at least 625* red-shirt-wearing anti-abortion rights protesters. He went on to tell supporters his 10-step method of ending abortion in America.
Watch clips from Bereit’s speech.
The abortion-rights advocates who have been defending Carhart’s clinic in counter-protest have similar plans to keep organizing and fighting to defend abortion rights against intimidation tactics and legislative measures, organizers told The American Independent on Sunday.
Shira Enstrom, a mother of a 2-year-old girl and pregnant with another child, stood with Summer Celebration of Choice supporters, advocating for a woman’s right to an abortion.
She told TAI her mother protested in favor of abortion rights in the early 1970s.
“I guess I’m doing this for my daughter,” she said.
Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/human-cross-pics-055.jpgShira Enstrom of Vienna, Va., supporting Dr. LeRoy Carhart's abortion clinic at the Summer Celebration of Choice counter-protest, Aug. 7 2011 (AMERICAN INDEPENDENT/Sofia Resnick)
**Correction: TAI misreported the number of people who attended Sunday’s Summer of Mercy 2.0 protest. The correct number should be 625. We regret the error. *