May 3, 2012 - By Ben Neary, The Associated PressCHEYENNE -- Anti-abortion activists from around the country say they plan to converge in Jackson this month following a recent Wyoming Supreme Court ruling in their favor.
The Wyoming Supreme Court last month ruled that a lower court order barring abortion protesters with Operation Save America from appearing at Jackson's town square last year violated the protesters' constitutional rights.
The Jackson Town Council on April 16 approved permits for Operation Save America to stage an event on the town square from May 16-18 and also on May 20. The council approved a competing request from the Boy Scouts/Chamber of Commerce to use the town square on May 19 for its annual Elkfest that includes a traditional antler auction.
Another group, the Milwaukee-based Missionaries to the Pre-Born, plans demonstrations in Jackson on May 7.
Rusty Thomas of Waco, Texas, is spokesman for Operation Save America. He said Wednesday he expects his group will bring about 50 people to Jackson.
Thomas said both his and the Milwaukee group are part of an effort by around 15 ministries that are targeting Wyoming as part of their "States of Refuge" project. He said they intend to make Wyoming one of the first states in which no doctors provide abortions.
The groups have targeted Dr. Brent Blue, of Jackson, saying he's the only doctor in Wyoming who advertises that he provides the service.
"I think it would have tremendous ramifications," Thomas said of the possible effect of ending abortion in Wyoming. "I believe it would have a ripple effect, a domino effect. Spiritually, it would punch a hole in the sky, and begin to liberate America from blood guilt one state at a time."
Blue said Wednesday that while the protesters are exercising their right to free speech, he's exercising his right to treat his patients legally.
Blue said he offers abortions to his patients the same as he performs vasectomies or prescribes birth control pills or medication for high blood pressure.
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