Protest Anniversary Shows Splintered Anti-Abortion Movement

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Protesters will come to Wichita this summer for the 25th anniversary of the tumultuous anti-abortion event called the Summer of Mercy.

But since 1991, the broader anti-abortion movement has splintered into disaffected factions and its strategies have evolved with the shifting political and legal landscape.

Growing restrictions placed by state legislatures on abortion clinics culminated this week with an Oklahoma bill that would have effectively banned abortions, though it was vetoed. And a thwarted move in Congress to strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood has spawned similar efforts in conservative states.

The current leader of Operation Rescue, which organized the 1991 event, says the group is distancing itself from the July 16-23 event because of the rhetoric that other anti-abortion groups use. Troy Newman also says that the group has accomplished more with politics than protests.