Kentucky police arrested 10 pro-life advocates on Saturday after they blocked the entrance to the last remaining abortion facility in the state, WDRB News reports.
The arrests were part of a planned effort by the group Operation Save America to risk “arrest to rescue their preborn neighbor,” according to the group.
They held the event outside the EMW Women’s Clinic in Louisville, the last abortion facility in Kentucky, on Saturday morning. According to the local news, about 100 pro-lifers attended.
At one point, several pro-lifers joined arms and blocked the entrance to the abortion facility, the report states. Louisville police said they asked the pro-lifers to leave several times, and when the pro-lifers did not, they were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing.
Those arrested included: Laura Buck of Indiana, Eva Edl of South Carolina, Eva Zastrow of Arkansas, David Graves of Washington state, Thomas Raddell of Ohio, Dennis Green of Virginia, James Soderna of Kentucky, Chris Keys of Texas, Rusty Thomas of Texas and James Zastrow of Missouri, according to the report. Police said they all have been released from jail.
Rusty Thomas, the national director of Operation Save America, said they knew they might be arrested, but they took the chance because they wanted to save babies’ lives from abortion through interposition.
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“Now interposition takes place when one stands in the gap between the oppressor and the intended victim. And by standing in the gap, rescues the victim from the oppressor’s hand,” Thomas said.
In a news release, the group described the demonstration as a “historic event … crossing a line that has not been crossed for close to 20 years.”
It explained the reasoning behind the event: “These Rescuers are exercising the Christian doctrine of interposition. Interposition takes place when one stands in the gap between a strong oppressor and a victim in order to rescue the victim from the oppressor’s hands. … It was interposition that ended the ancient evils of slavery, human sacrifice and other atrocities in times past. … Today, these Biblical and historical truths are being lived out at Louisville’s last remaining death camp defiling the land of Kentucky with blood guilt.”
Thomas said he hoped the event would inspire Kentucky officials to follow “their God ordained authority,” rather than the government authorities that wrongly decided in Roe v. Wade that babies can be aborted.
The group said they have another larger demonstration planned for July.
Abortion activists at the facility accused the pro-lifers of frightening and intimidating women, according to the local news.
The tactic of blocking abortion clinics is highly controversial in the pro-life movement because it is illegal. Blocking abortion facilities, sometimes called “rescues,” were more frequent in the 1980s and 1990s, but they have become almost non-existent in the past 20 years.
The idea is that, through a non-violent violation of the law, pro-lifers can block the entrances to abortion facilities and prevent women from having their unborn babies aborted. The pro-lifers who do this argue that violating the law is worth it to save a baby’s life.
However, many pro-life groups prohibit illegal activity of any kind. They argue that there are better legal strategies to protect babies’ lives while Roe v. Wade remains, including through peaceful sidewalk counseling, pregnancy resource centers, informed consent laws, and more.