Among the many hours of scheduled “praying” and “public witness” outside of Carhart’s clinic is a scheduled “live ultrasound.” The event takes place from July 30 to Aug. 7, and includes guest speaker Frank Pavone of Priests for Life.
Pavone is the national director of Priests for Life and is president of the National Prolife Religious Council. He has spoken against Planned Parenthood and has backed some of the more extreme members of the anti-abortion rights movement, such as Randall Terry.
Even though Terry had previously called Pavone a perfect example of “why [the anti-abortion rights movement] is losing this fight” to stop abortion, Pavone has publicly vowed to vote for Terry. Terry, the founder of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, is running for president as a way to bring attention to abortion. He has admitted the campaign is a stunt aimed at creating “a crisis of conscience for Americans regarding the slaughter of the unborn and thereby hastening the end of legalized child-killing” and attacking “President Obama’s agenda starting with child-killing, but also including our battle against socialism, our enslavement to debt, and more.”
In a statement Pavone released with Priests for Life, Pavone accused Planned Parenthood of “targeting the abortion of black babies.” He also said the chain of women’s clinics “is eager and willing to cover up the prostitution enslavement of young girls — including minorities — so long as they make money doing it.”
According to a recent press release from Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, “Summer of Mercy 2.0″ is being “sponsored and organized by The Maryland Coalition for Life, The Christian Defense Coalition, Operation Rescue and the local churches of Maryland.” Mahoney describes the event as “celebrating the 20th Anniversary of ‘The “Summer of Mercy’ in Wichita, Kansas where over 50,000 pro-life activists gathered to cry out to God for an end to abortion in 1991.”
The event that Mahoney is “celebrating” was a similar event also entitled “Summer of Mercy” that targeted abortion provider George Tiller in the early 1990s. Tiller was eventually shot in 1993 by an anti-abortion activist in Kansas where the event took place. He was later murdered in 2009 by another activist in Kansas.
Following Tiller’s assassination, Mahoney told Time magazine, “Politically, [Tiller’s murder] could not have happened at a worse time.” He said, “Please, don’t use this tragic situation to broad-brush the pro-life community as extremists.”
Scheduled speaker Frank Pavone told The Washington Independent following the murder:
“I wouldn’t put it past abortion advocates in Congress to use this tragedy to put more protections in place for the so-called right to choose,” said Frank Pavone. “That would just feed into the problem. There’s a lot of disappointment and frustration out there as a result of 2008 elections. People feel desperate. I’m not justifying what happened to Tiller at all when I say that it’s not surprising that a pattern begins to develop — the administration is hostile to the anti-abortion movement, there are acts of violence from people who feel helpless.”
Two years after the death of Tiller, groups such as Operation Rescue and the Christian Defense coalition are planning to target yet another abortion provider. Carhart’s clinic is the site for the overwhelming majority of the “Summer of Mercy.” Carhart has already been the target of a number of attacks from the anti-abortion movement.
Pro-abortion rights groups plan to make their presence known at this year’s “Summer of Mercy,” however. Side-by-side events called the “Summer of Choice” and “Summer of Trust” are scheduled to take place during the “Summer of Mercy” activities.