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Lubbock Prolifers win at City Hall


 Lubbock Prolifers win at City Hall

May 22nd, 2003
Lubbock Texas

Local prolifers are rejoicing over Lubbock City Council's decision to overturn the Citizen's Traffic Commission's placement of NO-PARKING signs on 67th street. This unanimous decision by the council May 22, brought to an end realtor Roy Middleton's efforts to curtail the lifesaving action of two local grandmothers.

Judy Kreller and Dorothy Boyett, both registered nurses, have been parking on this street, home of the infamous Aaron's abortuary, since 1992. Every Thursday morning they set up a display of living and aborted baby signs against two parked vehicles. From 7:00 am until noon they hand out literature, sidewalk counsel women going in and out, and witness to passersby.

Mr. Middleton claimed that the graphic signs were responsible for his inability to rent a suite of offices in his complex. "These people have cost me $7000 in the last six months because of their grotesque signs," he testified to a standing room only crowd at city hall.

Approximately sixty people came out in support of Dorothy and Judy. The prolife section included pastors, physicians, businessmen and a local judge. Trinity Christian High School students and their parents and teachers, who all pray at the abortion mill before school, testified before the city council. Directors of two local pregnancy help centers, members of Lubbock Right to Life, Texas Tech Students for Life, and the Diocese of Lubbock Respect Life director, all attended the hearing. Twenty-three people signed up to speak against the placement of NO-PARKING signs

Roy Middleton informed the council that he had adopted his two children and this was "not about prolife or 'prochoice.' " He claimed that the protestor's cars have created a traffic and safety hazard by parking on the street. "My customers and tenants should not be forced to look at these disgusting pictures," he said, as he distributed glossy 8x10 pictures of baby Malachi to councilmen and members of the press. "This is so simple," he said. "It's a parking problem, but it's been blown up to everything it's not."

David Haliday, teacher at Trinity High School, said he had prayed outside the abortion clinic on Thursdays for two years with his high school students. "We gather for half an hour before school," he said. "We have from twelve to twenty-five young people praying and worshipping. If that were causing a problem with the business people we would be happy to park elsewhere and walk to the abortion clinic. But it's not really about parking, it's about the signs! My question about the signs is - are they factual? Is this what's happening when a baby is aborted? These signs show what they are doing inside that building, but they don't want anybody to know about it!"

Dr. Jewell Davis, local anesthesiologist, informed the council that he was a shareholder at State National Bank, (one of the signers of the petition to close the street to parking). I have no problem with the signs being there," he said. "I went down there this morning and had no trouble entering and exiting the drive-through. The abortion clinic is the reason for the business community's difficulty in leasing spaces not the protestors."

Wayne Kreller said, "The alleged parking problem is represented by two people, my wife and Dorothy Boyett. It's not the cars," he said, " it's what's on the cars that Mr. Middleton objects to!"

Dorothy Boyett showed a picture of a child who had been saved as a result of the sidewalk-counseling ministry. "Her mother wrote to us many years later to tell us that she had seen the signs and left. That is why this little girl is alive today," Dorothy said. "This woman's heart was softened because of the signs. We are there to soften hearts, not to annoy people or cause traffic problems. We are there to save babies and present the gospel of Jesus Christ to the women," she said. "The prophet Malachi, (Malachi 4:6), said, '.He shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the Children.' They don't need abortions they need the salvation of Jesus Christ."

Judy Kreller, who has been outside the abortion clinic with Dorothy for ten years, said she goes to the mill "to tell the truth in love and to be a voice for our little brothers and sisters scheduled to die."

Pastor Carl Toti, Trinity Church, reminded the council that Christian people would see this as a first amendment issue. "Clearly the rights of the protestors, if these signs are put up, will be infringed upon, and the city council will be a party to that," he said. "The abortion clinic itself is the problem. As long as that abortion clinic is there you will never solve that problem with NO-PARKING signs."

Mrs. Skeet Workman, local conservative leader, reminded the City Council that there are ordinances on the books that ban sexually orientated businesses from the city. "Why can't we go to the zoning board and create an ordinance to ban this abortion clinic?" she asked. "We wouldn't allow a porn shop, gambling house, or a liquor store in that cul-de-sac, but we allow an abortion clinic."

Mayor Mark McDougal called for a motion to deny the placement of NO-PARKING signs on 67th street. Before voting, many of the councilmen expressed their views

"I look at this as a first amendment right. I don't want anything that limits people's ability to use our sidewalks and street to protest something such as this, a place where they kill children, that goes on in Lubbock, Texas," said Councilman Gary Boren

"There is not a safety or traffic issue involved here that would warrant the placing of those signs. Mr. Middleton, has not met the burden of proof that the signs are justified," said City Councilman Victor Hernandez.. Councilman TJ Patterson added, "When I first heard about this it reminded me about my marches against drugs and gangs in East Lubbock. If you believe in something bad enough you won't give up, that's why I support the motion."

Mayor Mark McDougal then called for a voice vote. The motion carried 6 to 0.

Roy Middleton, red-faced and visibly shaken, jumped up from his chair and accused the city council of succumbing to political pressure. "I'm mad! I'm upset! This was nothing but a dog and pony show," he stated with increased agitation. "You men had your minds made up already because of the publicity from the TV coverage!" Several councilmen called for a point of order but were ignored by Mr. Middleton who continued to berate the council.

Local media carried this story for days. The large baby Malachi signs were shown on all four local stations. Councilman T.J. Patterson told TV 28, "If I had not voted for these people, I would have been a hypocrite. I salute these people." Councilman Frank Morrison gave his opinion on Fox News, "The NO-PARKING signs was an attempt by the property owners to limit access to the area of this clinic." Roy Middleton disagreed. "I find it despicable that the city council would make a decision based on emotion, based on political pressure. These protestors are costing me money."The only comment from Dorothy Boyett and Judy Kreller was, "Praise the Lord!"

Going forward for Jesus

Lubbock pro-lifers - Click for larger image
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