TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has compared past "Summer of Mercy" anti-abortion protests in Wichita to the state's abolitionist movement that helped end slavery.
Brownback made the comparison Wednesday evening in his annual State of the State address. The speech was broadcast statewide on public television and radio.
The Republican governor is a strong opponent of abortions. He said the "Summer of Mercy" protests in 1991 and 2001 arose when Kansans could no longer tolerate what he called the death of innocent children.
The protests were held outside the Wichita clinic of Dr. George Tiller, who was killed in 2009 by a man professing strong anti-abortion views.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri CEO Peter Brownlie called Brownback's remarks insensitive and said many Kansans saw the protests as an embarrassment.