Contact: Troy Newman, President, 316-841-1700; Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor, 316-516-3034; both with Operation Rescue
BELLEVUE, Neb., May 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- Members of Rescue The Heartland were cited for unlawful picketing during a prayer vigil on Tuesday, May 2, in the neighborhood of abortion worker Sherry Hron, a long-term employee of the infamous partial-birth abortionist LeRoy Carhart.
Just three weeks ago, Judge Robert Wester dismissed all charges of unlawful picketing against members of Rescue The Heartland for conducting similar prayer vigils in the neighborhood of another abortion employee, Karen Pender. Ms. Pender has since quit working at Carhart's Bellevue, Nebraska, abortion mill, claiming the prayers of the Christians contributed to her developing mental instability.
As citations were being issued, one of the officers was asked if he was aware that the past charges had been dismissed. Bellevue Police Sergeant Milos said that he was aware of the ruling, but told the prayer participants that he was acting on orders received from Police Chief John Stacey that the group was to be charged again.
Those cited were Larry Donlan, Greg and Mary Grace Hansen, Steve Zach, Manuel Cruz, Mary Jane Ziola, and Joe McDaniel.
The Truth Truck, on loan from Operation Rescue, spent the hour driving around the neighborhood exposing the horror of abortion and telling neighbors about Hron's involvement in Carhart's abortion business. At one point, a man walking by pulling a wagon with a cooler offered cool refreshments to all the pro-life participants.
"We are astonished by this blatant disregard for our civil rights, but we will not be deterred by this harassment," said Rescue The Heartland Director Larry Donlan. "We plan to be in federal court by next week to file a civil rights lawsuit against Sarpy County, Chief Stacey, Prosecutor Lee Polikov, and each of the officers involved. It is unfortunate that we are forced to go to such lengths for them to understand that the First Amendment applies to Bellevue just as it does to the rest of the nation."
"This latest round of charges amounts to nothing less than religious persecution by those who are attempting to shield the abortionist and his employees from the effects of the Gospel," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "We appreciate Larry Donlan and Rescue The Heartland, for their courageous dedication to saving the lives of innocent babies, and their genuine concern for the souls of the abortion workers."
Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation. Operation Rescue recently made headlines when it bought and closed an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas and has become the voice of the pro-life activist movement in America. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to restore legal personhood to the pre-born and stop abortion in obedience to biblical mandates.