Archive for Monday, October 4, 1999

ABORTION ISSUE SUBJECT OF DEMONSTRATION

October 4, 1999

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Motorists passing by 23rd and Iowa on Sunday may have seen demonstrators from both sides of the abortion issue.

Anti-abortion and pro-choice groups demonstrated Sunday afternoon at one of Lawrence's busiest intersections without incident.

About 20 pro-life demonstrators -- most of whom were members of KU Students for Life -- held up signs on two corners of the intersection of 23rd and Iowa.

Their signs read "Abortion Kills Children" and "Abortion Hurts Women."

The event was part of the national "Life Chain" in which anti-abortion proponents had similar demonstrations across Kansas and the nation.

"We hope to let the people in Lawrence know that there are people who care about women and children," said Scott Wallisch, a member of KU Students for Life.

In response to the anti-abortion protest, seven members of the KU Pro-Choice Coalition stood across from the anti-abortion group with their own signs.

Their signs read "My Body, My Choice" and "Honk if you're Pro-Choice."

Passing motorists appeared to honk in support of both groups.

Sally Puleo, president of the Pro-Choice Coalition, said members of her group came out in response to the "Life Chain" demonstrators.

"I think it's just really difficult to stand silent in the face of something like this (demonstration)," she said.

"And from all the people who are honking, I think it's a sign that a majority of people favor keeping abortion safe and legal in this country."

Wallisch said that in addition to showing their opposition to abortion, his group was part of a "national sign of solidarity."

Kansans for Life said 67 communities in the state were participating in Sunday's demonstrations.

Organizers of the local anti-abortion demonstration said they weren't surprised to see the pro-choice group come out as well.

"It's their right, just like it's our right," Wallisch said.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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