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Buffalo Bishop Says Planned Clinic Blockades May Hurt Anti-Abortion Movement

April 5, 1992

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ The bishop of Buffalo’s Roman Catholic diocese said Saturday that Operation Rescue’s planned blockades of abortion clinics later this month could set back the anti-abortion movement.

″I myself personally have chosen not to commit civil disobedience, because I don’t think in the long run it’s going to help our cause,″ Bishop Edward D. Head told a convention of the state Right to Life committee. ″In the short run, it might cause more harm than good.″

But Head told about 300 people at the convention in Rochester that his stance shouldn’t be taken as advice to others.

″How we are called to protect and defend life differs,″ he said. ″Some will feel called to commit civil disobedience.″

The anti-abortion group Operation Rescue plans to block access to Buffalo- area clinics beginning April 20. There were more than 2,600 arrests in similar protests last year in Wichita, Kan.

Geraldine Oftedahl, chairwoman of New York State Right to Life, said the national and state organizations won’t get involved in any illegal activities or officially endorse Operation Rescue’s protests.

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