Sunday, January 21, 2001

Local abortion foes express optimism at start of Bush era

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        About 250 anti-abortion activists expressed optimism about the future of their cause during a march and Fountain Square rally Saturday, saying they were encouraged by Saturday's inauguration of President George W. Bush.

AP coverage
        “After years of fighting and sticking up for ourselves, we can finally look forward and have our voices heard,” said Joanne Kemmerer, an event organizer from Mount Airy.

        The event was held to protest Monday's 28th anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.

        “I was born about the same time as Roe vs. Wade, so this event is kind of a big deal to me and my parents,” said Bryon Bedel, 28, from Dent. “It comes as a good sign that this event would happen today, when the new president is being inaugurated.”

        But even with Mr. Bush in office, the fight is not over, many at the rally said. They pointed to First Lady Laura Bush's comment Friday that Roe v. Wade should stand, and government officials should encourage abstinence as a way to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

        “We knew that neither Bush nor (former Vice President Al) Gore was the silver bullet against abortion,” said the Rev. Joseph Greenwell, assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Norwood. “I can only hope (Mrs. Bush's comment) was a political statement. But to be honest, the only way that abortion is going to be abolished is through prayer and through the efforts of grass roots organizations such as this.”

        Also speaking to the crowd was Ohio Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Anderson Township, who said he was working for tougher regulation of abortion clinics as a way to reduce abortions.

        Sue Momeyer, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood for Southwest Ohio/Northern Kentucky, Saturday said she wasn't concerned about such regulations, because Planned Parenthood already meets tough medical standards.


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