LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The federal government has abandoned its quest for a buffer zone around the last remaining abortion facility in Kentucky, which had initially been created after 11 people blocked the doors to the building on Mother’s Day weekend to keep mothers from committing murder.
“The United States has withdrawn its motion for a preliminary injunction. There will be no long-term bubble zone at EMW,” defense attorney Vince Heuser told WAVE 3 News.
A hearing was held last week regarding the government’s motion for U.S. District Court Judge David Hale to extend his temporary, 14-day buffer zone around EMW Women’s Clinic into a preliminary injunction. FBI agents, U.S. marshals and federal prosecutors were all present.
Representatives for the abortion facility testified that the buffer zone was necessary because abortion opponents are violent. However, the case began to fall apart when it became clear that there was no evidence of violence—or the threat of it—at the facility, and that the claim could not be supported.
According to Heuser, EMW Women’s Clinic director Anne Ahola admitted that Rusty Thomas, the national leader of Operation Save America, who had been among the 11 arrested in May for sitting in front of the doors, even went inside the facility and “shared love of Jesus, and she came out of the secure area of the clinic to talk face to face with him and they exchanged a hug.”
Therefore, seeing that they would not be successful in pursuing the extended injunction, nor was it necessary, U.S. attorneys dropped the motion.
“The intimidating aspect, the threatening aspect of this case, went away instantly,” Heuser said.
The temporary restraining order, which was put in place in anticipation of Operation Save America’s rally July 22-29, was lifted by Saturday. U.S. marshals were sent to surround the building during throughout the event to ensure that women would be able to have access to the abortion facility.
The scores of pro-lifers that gathered sang worship songs, preached the gospel, read Scripture and prayed for an end to abortion. A number of children present also approached the abortion facility escorts who had lined up along the sidewalk, and stretched out their arms and began praying for them.
Prior to the event, Joseph Spurgeon, the pastor of Sovereign King Church and a local leader for Operation Save America, urged Christians not to be slack in actively loving their preborn neighbors.
“Christians throughout this city should stand up and say, ‘No more bloodshed will happen in our land,'” he said during a press conference on July 19. “We are called to be salt and light. And what good is it if salt has lost its saltiness? It is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under [foot].”
“Christians, the preborn are our neighbor,” Spurgeon exhorted. “Proverbs 24:11-12 tells us to rescue those being taken away to death and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. And we cannot say that we didn’t know. God knows that we do. Church, it is time to rise!”
While the government has abandoned its quest for a buffer zone at EMW Women’s Clinic, it is still requesting under the Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton, that Judge Hale order 10 of the 11 (one was a minor) to pay monetary damages to those who were unable to use the abortion facility in May because the doors were blocked.