Rochester is ground zero of abortion debate this week


The national anti-abortion-rights group Operation Save America, formerly Operation Rescue, is in Rochester this week. The city was chosen for the group's 2013 national profile event. 

The group, which is often characterized as a Christian fundamentalist organization that also opposes gay rights and Islam, has been holding events throughout the city. Today, members are expected to be at Ontario Beach Park, Planned Parenthood, and at Bethel Christian Fellowship at 321 East Avenue at 6:30 tonight. 

So far, attendance at OSA's Rochester events has been low, says a spokesperson for the Rochester Police Department. The RPD is keeping a close eye on the situation, the spokesperson says, and is in daily contact with leaders of the OSA. 

"They assure us they're going to be careful and peaceful," says Sgt. Elena Correia, the RPD's public information officer. "We are keeping an eye on that and making sure everybody's safe." 

Police have a strategic plan ready to go if things get out of hand, Correia says, but there have been no incidents so far. Anyone experiencing problems should call 911, she says. 

An OSA opposition group is also in Rochester this week. Women's Equality, Liberation & Defense is holding events through July 31. (See a full list below) 

WELD formed in May "to support women's right and to protect women in the Rochester area and New York State from defamation and harassment." 

WELD's Facebook page:

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