Judge gets tough with protest leaders Anti-abortion leaders jailed indefinitely.

August 22, 1991

WICHITA, Kan. -- A federal judge has ordered three leaders of a militant anti-abortion group jailed indefinitely as dozens of abortion opponents tried to block the gates of a clinic during the sixth straight week of protests and mass arrests in this city on the Kansas prairie.

The leaders were jailed yesterday for failing to sign a $100,000 peace bond Aug. 6. A peace bond is sometimes imposed when a group's activities could lead to disorder or property damage.

Yesterday, 75 protesters were taken to jail, pushing the number of arrests above 2,500 since the demonstrations began July 15.

Judge Patrick F. Kelly, acting in the civil lawsuit filed by the clinics, had issued an order against blocking access to the clinics, but the protesters have repeatedly defied him and his order.

4 "There is no respect," the judge said yesterday.

Kelly ordered the three leaders of the anti-abortion group that has led the protests, Operation Rescue, jailed indefinitely, which is permissible in civil but not criminal cases.

He also fined them each $10,000 and $500 a day for the next 10 days or until they agree to comply with his conditions. At that time the federal authorities, if necessary, will be dispatched to seize their property and garnish their wages.

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