Boston Globe Article, June 4, 1989

200 Antiabortionists Rally in Government Center

by Adrian Walker, Contributing Reporter

About 200 antiabortion demonstrators, carrying signs and singing hymns, held a rally outside Government Center yesterday as a handful of pro-choice activists demonstrated a few feet away, said Boston police.

The rally, organized by Massachusetts Life League, attracted a smaller crowd than expected, organizers said. Several of the demonstrators had spent the morning protesting outside abortion clinics.

Prochoice demonstrators say they attended the rally uninvited to show they do not intend to be intimidated.

Many of the protesters interviewed recited familiar arguments against abortion. “Babies are being murdered everyday and women are being exploited,” said Judy Morse of Abington. “Many women after abortions have to go through counseling to deal with the guilt.”

The only conflict between the groups occurred about half an hour after the start, when prochoice demonstrators with megaphones began shouting: “Prolife, your name’s a life, you don’t care if women die.”

At that point, the groups faced off with each chanting its own slogans. Police officers quickly moved in directing the groups back to their own activities. No arrests were made.

Earlier yesterday, activists from the New England Christian Council in Gloucester held a prayer vigil outside Preterm Health Services in Brookline. John Rankin, the council’s director, said about 100 antiabortion demonstrators came during the day to pray in small groups. Unlike Operation Rescue’s tactics, Rankin said, his group does not believe in blockading clinic doors or being arrested.

An estimated 200 prochoice activists attended the prayer vigil, also in small groups, according to Ellen Convisser, president of the Boston chapter of the National Organization for Women. Convisser and Brookline police said the number of protesters on each side was about equal.