I have written about the Rescue Movement before.  Sometimes when saying the rosary my mind wanders to past events and I began to wonder whatever possessed me to travel to Atlanta GA in 1988 just to get arrested.  And I also wondered whether, today, in 2012, there would be anything at all on the internet about the Rescue Movement which essentially began in 1988.  A friend assured me that the world wide web existed even before 1988 so I did a little background check for the purpose of gathering some of that old data in one place.

Here is what I found:

Orlando Sentinel, August 15 1988

Under Terry’s supervision, Operation Rescue protesters are well- disciplined in their non-violence. For the most part, they remain silent except for singing hymns. At an Atlanta demonstration, one protester was admonished by another for getting into an argument with a clinic staffer.

It is the hope of the anti-abortion organizers that by taking to the streets in large, peaceful demonstrations, Operation Rescue will change the American public’s views on abortion, as well as preventing the abortions themselves.

”Any change in America has come about by civil disobedience — gay rights, rights for women, civil rights,” said Patricia Mondl, 34, a protester in Atlanta. ”This is how things are changed in America.”

But the shift in protest tactics toward peaceful non-violence is also a concession by Operation Rescue strategists that other pro-life efforts have failed.

”If we had already been effective as a movement there would be no abortion,” said Judie Brown, president of the American Lobby for Life in Stanford, Va. ”We are praying that these rescue missions will do something to the American psyche that has not been done previously. Maybe rescue missions will be the way to finally crack the ice.”

This is a snippet from an interview with Baby John Doe who turned 66 while imprisoned.

“We had a couple of Baptist ministers from out-of-town here last week. When they came in they were convinced no Catholic could be saved. When they left, they hugged us and admitted they believed we were saved.”

“We have people in here from 19 states,” the prisoner revealed in a telephone conversation Aug. 3. Of all denominations, they range in age from people in their 20s to a man 78.

Jailed “Baby Johns” and “Baby Janes” include a retired Army colonel who was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, school teachers, nurses, attorneys, a symphony’s first violinist. “I wouldn’t be in any other place. The morale is very high,” no. 212 insisted.


According to Martin Luther King, Jr., who was arrested 22 times for civil disobedience.

An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.


No pro-life action has been so misunderstood by the public, the pro-aborts, and even Christians as rescue missions.

A rescue is not organized to make a statement; it is not a mere “sit-in;” it is an actual and earnest attempt to save lives!

A rescue mission is mounted to save unborn lives and mother’s health by placing oneself between the victims and the killer the abortionist. The philosophy of rescue is as simple as that.

A rather comprehensive overview of the Rescue movement can be found here.  It includes a section of directions to pro-abortion folks  on how to deal with the rescuers:

It is very interesting to read a typical pro-abortion clinic tactics manual (obtained during depositions for a lawsuit) to see how escorts are encouraged to physically assault rescuers and “bully” picketers off the public sidewalks.

The overview mentioned above is extraordinarily well-done and anyone really interested in understanding the Rescue Movement will find it very worthwhile.


It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. — Voltaire