Anti-abortion group takes rally on road

Rush-hour protest set for Westminster today

August 14, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Police are assigning extra patrols for a traveling anti-abortion demonstration scheduled to make stops today along highways in Westminster, Columbia and Bowie.

Demonstration organizers said they will post warnings to motorists that they might see graphic photographs of aborted fetuses. Organizers said as many as 100 demonstrators are expected to participate in the rally scheduled for the afternoon rush hour on Route 140 in Westminster.

The tour also is scheduled to stop on Route 175 in Columbia and Routes 301 and 450 in Bowie today and in Baltimore tomorrow. It began Monday with demonstrations in Winchester, Va., Hagerstown and Frederick.

"I heard from officers in Frederick that the pictures are extremely graphic," said Lt. Terry L. Katz, commander of the Westminster barracks. "I can guarantee there will be rubbernecking and I can almost guarantee there will be an accident."

Billed as a "grass roots pro-life movement," the "Face the Truth" tour has chosen high-traffic areas, rather than abortion clinics, as the site to get its message across, said Vince Perticone, a leader in Carroll's anti-abortion movement.

"We think we can really turn hearts, when people see the victims of abortion," Perticone said. "We have had people stop their cars and join us, once they see these pictures."

From 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. today, the tour is scheduled to stop at Routes 301 and 450 near the border of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties. Anne Arundel County police Lt. Joseph Jordan said police who patrol the area would be watching for demonstrators. "We are going to have officers that are going to make checks, and we are going to play it by ear," he said.

The next stop is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Route 175 and Tamar Drive in Columbia. Howard County police plan to send extra patrols to the area, said Pfc. Denise Walk, a department spokeswoman.

The pickets will line the sides of Route 140 in Westminster from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., starting near Sullivan Road and going east to Englar Road.

Westminster police officers working that shift are prepared to back up state police, said Chief Roger G. Joneckis.

After demonstrations tomorrow in southern Pennsylvania and Baltimore, the tour will head to Harford and Cecil counties Friday and stop in Delaware and Annapolis on Saturday.

Sun staff writers Rona Kobell and Jason Song contributed to this article.

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