Operation Rescue pierced the habitual media blackout of U.S. pro-life action in 1988-89, but things returned to the status quo in 1990. News of the sacrifices of bishops, aborted women and others has been completely suppressed.
In January 1990 Bishop Austin Vaughan was jailed in Albany, New York, for two weeks. Although Bp. Vaughan was the first bishop in the history of the United States to go to jail, his incarceration was not reported by any of the country’s major newspaper.
On January 22, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court which legalized abortion in the U.S., a “Rachel’s Rescue” took place in Washington. It coincided with the annual March for Life, and was the second time that “Rachel’s Rescue” participated.
Kathy Kelly, whose child was killed at Bill Baird’s abortion mill on Long Island 11 years ago, worked to bring together post-abortion women (and men) and rescuers.
This year, the January Washington rescue was sponsored by Bishops Vaughan and Lynch, and by parents – including fathers – of aborted children. At a pre-rescue prayer rally the night before the rescue, Bishop Lynch noted that when post-abortion women witness at the abortion mills, the supercilious smiles of the staff disappear; they know that these women speak the truth.
Women who are hurt
In her pre-rescue talk, Kathy Kelly spoke directly to the pro-abortion infiltrators who were in the church: “To the pro-abortion folks who are here, my word to you is: Welcome. You are in the right place. You are amongst other parents just like yourselves who are at a different stage of dealing with their pain, the pain of taking part in the bloody death of a blood relative.”
“If a time comes for you,” she said, “when you begin to be aware of hurting from your abortions, please know that you can turn to us.”
Mrs. Kelly also appealed to her listeners on behalf of the hurting women: “I beg you, on behalf of women threatened by abortion, who are abandoned, who feel it’s not freedom of choice but their only choice: Please rescue, please be faithful to the abandoned women whom the Lord never abandons. Please make His Presence at the killing centres visible to them.”
Hospital of late abortions
The following day, the rescuers met at the Washington Hospital Center, where the very late abortions in the city are done. Its late abortion ‘specialist’ recently lost a four-million-dollar lawsuit to Julie Surland, a woman who became sterile as a result of an abortion he botched. Although the issue raised by the pro-lifers at the hospital was so-called safe abortion, pro-abortion activists harassed the pro-lifers and would not join them even to denounce slipshod practices.
No rescue took place at the hospital. From the hospital the rescuers moved to the Hillcrest abortuary, where most of the infamous “dumpster babies” of Washington were found in 1986 and 1987. On the way, they were harassed by pro- abortionist and homosexuals who went up to the pro-lifers and blew whistles in their ears, chanted obscenities and kept putting condom stickers on people’s clothing.
One of the most moving incidents of the day was the decision by Leda Freire and her daughter Diana to risk arrest together. Mrs. Freire aborted her first child, and because of threats from her husband, almost aborted her second, Diana.
After praying “for perhaps the first time in my life,” she felt that Jesus answered her prayers, and assured her that if she sought the Kingdom of God, all things would be taken care of. The survivor, Diana, is an honor student and a vocal pro-life advocate.