More than 300 abortion rights supporters participated in the Brookline Clinic Shootings Remembrance Rally held Dec. 30, sponsored by Massachusetts NOW. This rally marked the second anniversary of the clinic shootings in Brookline, Mass., where Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols were murdered and five others were wounded by anti-abortion fanatic John Salvi.
In addition to remembering the victims, speakers noted that anti-abortion forces continue their efforts to restrict access to abortion services. Speakers, including Massachusetts NOW President Cheryl Garrity and NOW National Board Member Ellen Zucker, called for an end to clinic violence. They urged legislators to ensure that reproductive health care services be made available to every woman regardless of economic status, race, age or geographic location. Despite freezing temperatures, the crowd marched to the State House with candles in hand and chants ringing through the air. As one protester said, "It's important to have a presence -- to let the anti-choice groups know that we will not return to the days when abortion was illegal."
Massachusetts NOW also held a Jan. 22 demonstration at the State House in support of Roe v. Wade and again called for an end to clinic violence.
NOW chapters nationwide marked the 24th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision. NOW President Patricia Ireland joined NOW leaders in beseiged Atlanta, Ga., and Tulsa, Okla., both sites of clinic bombings and protests, in calling for intensified investigations into on-going anti-abortion violence.
"It's time for President Clinton and Attorney General Reno to give abortion clinic bombings the same priority they gave to the recent wave of church burnings," Ireland said at a Washington, D.C., candlelight vigil organized by Capital City NOW. "We need an inter-agency response that increases arrests and convictions, and deters further attacks."
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