2,500 abortion foes hold rally in front of the State House

January 15, 1991|By M. Dion Thompson | M. Dion Thompson,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun

ANNAPOLIS -- More than 2,500 anti-abortion activists rallied in front of the Maryland State House yesterday and vowed to fight pro-abortion bills, even though they may not have enough votes to win.

Police estimated the crowd numbered between 2,500 and 3,000 people. Rally organizers said more than 3,000 attended the candlelight demonstration, which began with a march from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium about half a mile from the State House.

Steve Shaneman, director of the Family Protection Lobby, said his group had not decided exactly what its strategy would be this year, but that he hoped to see the introduction of legislation that would be "reasonably restrictive."

"We certainly don't have a majority, but I don't think it would be correct to concede defeat," said Mr. Shaneman. Legislation introduced to preserve a woman's right to an abortion in Maryland is "horrendous," he said.

Art Sawyer, who coordinated the march, said the anti-abortionists were most concerned about a bill introduced by a group of senators led by Clarence Blount, D-Baltimore, and F. Vernon Boozer, R-Baltimore County. That bill would preserve abortion rights without imposing restrictions for minors. The issue has split abortion-rights groups.

Several state senators and delegates spoke to crowd, each asking for prayers and continued support, but offering little reassurance on their hopes in the legislative session.

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