News of the death last week of 78-year-old former federal Judge Patrick Kelly would have brought to mind Wichitaâ€™s abortion battles — if theyâ€™d ever really left local headlines since the 1991 protests and arrests that pushed Kelly into an unwanted national spotlight.
Few judges face the kind of pressure Kelly did during those tense weeks of Summer of Mercy demonstrations, including death threats and calls for impeachment. And fewer still would have shown as much courage as Kelly did, as his determination not to let protesters deny access to Wichitaâ€™s abortion clinics put him at odds with the protesters, local elected leaders, the Justice Department and seemingly his Roman Catholic beliefs.
â€œYou know with all this going on, you just have to be disciplined, draw on your roots, stay firm and follow the law,â€ Kelly told the New York Times, just days after a controversial appearance on ABCâ€™s â€œNightline.â€ Abortion warriors may still see Kelly as part of the problem, but his view should resonate for many today: â€œI have a duty to carry out the law, and Roe is the law.â€
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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