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Reggae Among Anti-Protest Methods

July 5, 1990

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ An abortion clinic says it may use reggae music’s positive vibrations to drown out the chants of protesters at its door.

Mary Litman, a spokeswoman for Women’s Health Services Inc. of Pittsburgh, said the clinic may hire a reggae band to play during the next large protest by Project Multitude, a Pittsburgh anti-abortion group.

The band would play louder than singing protesters and, possibly, drive away those who dislike reggae music, Ms. Litman said. The blend of rock ‘n’ roll and calypso is performed by such Jamaican artists as Yellowman and the late Bob Marley.

″We are going to take the initiative and try to have some control over what goes on,″ Ms. Litman said.

In June, Women’s Health Services solicited pledges from supporters based on the number of people who attended an anti-abortion demonstration. The clinic collected $2,800 after 350 people attended the protest, or about $8 per picket, Ms. Litman said.

″I would rather that our patients and their husbands and mothers and friends be able to walk into our clinic in total privacy,″ Ms. Litman said. ″But we cannot keep the pickets away, so we will use this to thumb our noses at them.″

The pledge drives and other tactics will not deter the protests, including one planned for September, said Mary Irwin, director of Project Multitude.

″If the Ku Klux Klan tried to make money off the number of blacks protesting in Alabama, I hope that would not discourage them for standing up for what is right in Selma,″ Ms. Irwin said.

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