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FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2007

Major demonstration set in Birmingham at abortion clinic bombed by Rudolph

BIRMINGHAM (AP)— Abortion opponents said Thursday they are planning a major demonstration in hopes of shutting down the women's clinic in Birmingham that was
bombed in 1998 by extremist Eric Rudolph, killing a police officer and critically injuring a nurse.

Pastor A.J. Johnson said he had invited Operation Save American to Birmingham for an event that will be hosted by his church and will focus on New Woman All Women Health Care.

Johnson said plans include a demonstration at the clinic, which was heavily damaged by the bombing but reopened in days.

The Web site of Operation Save America urges supporters to come to Birmingham for nine days beginning July 14 to "storm the gates of hell."

"There are two remaining abortion mills in Birmingham, and the saints in this city have asked us to help push what is left of the abortion industry into a deep grave," the Web site says.

Johnson said the demonstration would be nonviolent.

"If we were literally storming the gates I wouldn't be a part of it," said Johnson, who leads the Doers of the Word Church. He said he expects as many as 400 people to attend the demonstrations.

A group that supports abortion rights, the Feminist Majority Foundation, said a staffer already has met with the clinic staff and police to prepare for the event. Several hundred abortion opponents participated in a similar protest in Birmingham in 1994.

The owner of New Woman All Women, Diane Derzis, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Rudolph, who was captured in Murphy, N.C., after a five-year manhunt, pleaded guilty in the Birmingham blast and the bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He is serving a life term in federal prison.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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