PHILADELPHIA, PA (FR) – Three abortion clinics were closed down in this Pennsylvania metropolis on July 5th and 6th by 700 Operation Rescue protesters. The demonstrators targeted two major clinics during the two-day sit-in, which caused other medical centers and abortion clinics in the area to also close. At the first facility, Women’s Surburban Clinic in Payoli, 591 protestors were arrested.
The second clinic, Northeast Women’s Center, was closed after 253 protesters were arrested. Auxilary Bishop Austin Vaughn, considered one of the most influential Catholics in New York City, was also arrested. “We have had more single arrests in the history of the U.S. for the abortion issue during this rescue,” said Lowell Patterson, communications director for Operation Rescue. The clinics perform 30 to 40 abortions a day.
Patterson said the Philadelphia rescue was more successful then the rescues held in New Jersey and New York this past year. “Over 50 clergy came to be trained in how to conduct a rescue in their city,” he said. This is part of Operation Rescue’s two-fold objective, which is to first, “stir the nation against abortion,” and secondly “to train others to implement rescues in their hometowns,” Patterson added.