Crowds of protesters clash in Jefferson Square over abortion rights
The images being shown on a large screen during the day-long anti-abortion protest in downtown Louisville.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Crowds of protesters in Jefferson Square Park clashed Wednesday over abortion rights.
The pro-life group Operation Save America showed what they are calling "abortion procedures" on a Jumbotron television all day.
"When you see a video of what it is, and you actually see it, you see it for what it is ,which is murder of a human being," said Joseph Spurgeon, a local leader of Operation Save America.
They were met with opposition from pro-choice activists who also flooded the park to counter-protest, creating heated clashes between protesters. A large number of Louisville Metro Police officers stood guard for potential problems.
"Abortion is still legal," pro-choice activist Katie McBride said. "It's still health care. It is still a right to every woman in this state."
Critics questioned the authenticity of the videos being shown.
"The images are just downright lies, and that's my other issue with their position," McBride said. "If you have to use lies to support your position, then it's not a genuine honest position."
Operation Save America brought in the group Created Equal to display the Jumbotron. The groups called the assumption that the videos are fake "ridiculous."
"They are real," Spurgeon said. "These are real videos of abortions. They've been obtained by different photographers during abortions."
Operation Save America has staged several protests and rallies in Louisville this week.
"There's a ton of Christians that just don't care that their neighbor is being murdered," Spurgeon said. "So we're here to wake them up, because when they wake up, that's when abortion will end."
The group is targeting the EMW Women's Surgical Center on West Market Street, the last operating facility that offers abortions in Kentucky.
"I've had friends that have had to use that clinic for multiple reasons," McBride said. "That clinic has served our community for years."
Last week, a federal judge established the buffer zone to prevent protesters from gathering in front of clinic. The buffer zone is 15-feet long by 7-1/2 feet wide.
On Monday, a U.S. District Court Judge said the defendants in the case agreed to continue the temporary restraining order, "until its scheduled expiration, two hours after the close of business on Saturday."
The order was aimed at nearly a dozen pro-life activists from Operation Save America who were arrested at a May demonstration. The protesters were arrested after police said they linked arms and blocked the entrance to the clinic.
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