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Convention, court rulings heat battle over abortion


Gordon Boyd

June 28, 2014

Wave3 News -

  Watch a video of this news story.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentuckiana's abortion battle always has been in your face, but on procedure days at the EMW Women's Surgical Center on West Market, the sides are color-coded.

"The clinic tells clients to look for people in orange vests to help them get in the door," clinic escort Rita Sasse said.

Abortion protestors wear yellow vests. Neither side's tactics have changed much, Sasse said, since she began volunteering seven years ago.

"There's such extreme belief on their part that, that they have some kind of moral obligation to be down here and harass women," Sasse said.

"I'm not there to confront them, but to plead with them," said Bryan Kemper, youth director for Stand True Pro-Life Outreach, an abortion intervention initiative based in Troy, OH. "There's a better choice for them, a better way than this."

Kemper points to the Woman's Choice Resource Center, on the other side of W. Market Street, less than a block away. It offers counseling and referrals for pregnant women to consider adoption.

Kemper came to Louisville as a delegate to the National Right to Life Convention, underway from Thursday through Saturday evening.

"Kentucky is proudly pro-life, and by the way, so am I," Senator Mitch McConnell told cheering delegates Saturday morning.

The abortion issue itself hasn't decided a Kentucky election, but anti-abortion activists are a bloc McConnell can't afford to have stay home if he's to win a sixth term and flip control of the Senate.

"I don't know about you, but the guy you're looking at might be a better scheduler," McConnell said, referring to his bid as Minority Leader to put Republicans in the majority.

Abortion opponents are seeing their greatest victories at the state level, McConnell told the assemblage.

"Twenty-seven states including Kentucky now have informed consent laws," McConnell said. "Twenty-five states, including Kentucky, limit taxpayer subsidies for abortion.

"I want to hear him say that he's going to stand up 100 percent," Kemper said, "and bring an end to the holocaust that's taken so many lives."

McConnell stopped just short of that.

"As long as I'm the senior senator from Kentucky, you can count on me," he promised.
The EMW clinic saw 20 patients this Saturday. Both sides agree that the US Supreme Court decision limiting buffer zones to keep protestors away from patients will have little effect here.
"I hope that we are making a difference for the individuals who come needing health care," clinic escort Sherry Arconti said. "I feel pretty good about doing that."

On that observation alone, many abortion opponents might agree.

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