Operation Rescue: Holy Week Rescues Show Movement Still Active

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Melanie Murray, a high-school senior from Grenada Hills, California, sat with more than 400 people in the Loyola Marymount University gym listening to the heavy beat of a Christian rock band—and the exhortations of Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue (OR).

“Somebody has to stop abortion,” said Murray, who, along with scores of other teens, stepped forward “to save babies” in a Maundy Thursday sit-in at three Los Angeles-area clinics that perform abortions.

The day after the rescue, on Good Friday, Murray would turn 18; this was her last chance to participate in a “rescue” before becoming an adult in the eyes of the law. “I can’t just wait for everybody else to do it,” she added.

In fact, thousands of people joined Murray and her young peers in blocking the entrances of abortion clinics across the country between March 25 and Easter Sunday, the third National Days of Rescue, an event that organizers say signals a “rebound” for the rescue movement.

In all, 3,500 people “risked arrest” and about 2,000 were arrested in 41 cities during that week, said Keith Tucci of Operation Rescue’s national office in Summerville, South Carolina. During the first national campaign in 1988, 4,663 risked arrest, while 5,190 risked arrest during the 1989 effort, according to Tucci.

“Let’s face it, 1990 was a hard year for the rescue movement,” Terry told CHRISTIANITY TODAY, “NOW [the National Organization for Women] and Planned Parenthood thought we were dead. The National Days of Rescue show that we are very much alive.”

Terry also takes encouragement from the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case involving OR. The ...

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