Pro-Abortion, Pro-Life Groups Can Protest at GOP Convention

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 5, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion, Pro-Life Groups Can Protest at GOP Convention

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 5, 2004

New York, NY ( — Groups on both sides of the abortion debate have received permission from the city of New York and the U.S. National Parks Department to hold protests at the August GOP convention where President Bush will be nominated to run for a second term.

One of the groups receiving permission to protest is Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business. Its supporters plan to hold a march across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall Park on August 28, two days before the beginning of the convention.

"I’m sure people from our area will participate," local Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Charli Summers told the Journal News. "We are so close. People can take the train in."

She said her group would email 6,000 area supporters and encourage them to participate.

Meanwhile, NARAL plans to hold a rally in Union Square on August 31.

"It’s long overdue, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction," Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told the Daily News.

Last month, the groups accused police officials of taking too long to issue protest permits to those that want to march outside of or near Madison Square Garden, where the convention will be held.

The New York City police department said the groups were attempting to make it appear the police department would revoke the First Amendment rights of protesters, when it was taking its time because of its concern about safety and terrorism threats.

Pro-life groups also plan to be at the convention.

The Christian Defense Coalition had filed a lawsuit saying the city was dragging its feet. The group will hold a prayer vigil on Seventh Avenue, across the street from Madison Square Garden.

The National Organization for Women is still negotiating for a permit and a police representative said it was in negotiations about the best place for the pro-abortion women’s group to stage its event.

John Kerry, who backs abortion, is the presumptive Democratic nominee. His party’s convention will be held in Boston later this month.