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Protesters Arrested at Anti-Abortion Demonstration With PM-Scotus-Abortion

January 21, 1992

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Police arrested more than 270 anti-abortion protesters during demonstrations outside two downtown Washington clinics today.

The protesters crossed police lines and blocked two entrances of the Washington Surgi-Clinic. Dozens of others looked on, singing hymns and sometimes kneeling to pray.

Police said they arrested 278 demonstrators at that protest and at another demonstration outside a second Washington clinic.

The demonstrations came as the Supreme Court agreed to look at a restrictive Pennsylvania abortion law, but left itself room to avoid the broader issue of whether abortion should continue to be legal.

Many activists on both sides of the abortion issue had expected the court to use the Pennsylvania case to determine the fate of the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Wednesday is the 19th anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision.

During the protest outside Washington Surgi-Clinic, more than 100 abortion rights counter-demonstrators linked arms and formed a line around two sides of the clinic, but dozens of anti-abortion protesters were able to get through. The demonstrators were blocked from clinic doors by police officers, however.

″Anytime you save a life it’s worthwhile,″ said Tim Dreste, 32, of St. Louis. ″Do you think any woman who want to have an abortion here is going to want to go though all of this mess?″

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