Two-inch fake plastic fetuses sat atop the desks of Senate Republican leadership staff members Thursday morning, placed there by a small anti-abortion group protesting Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan before next week’s confirmation hearings.
The demonstration was led by Capitol Hill protest mainstay Randall Terry, who founded Operation Rescue, but who since has cut ties from the group and has been denounced by them — most recently for applauding the slaying of George Tiller, the Wichita, Kan., doctor who was killed a year ago for performing late-term abortions.
Dressed in a black-and-white prison jumpsuit, Terry fronted the seven-person group for about an hour in front of Dirksen Senate Office Building as they held large posters with photos of aborted fetuses and signs reading “Konfirm Kagan” while sarcastically voicing support for the solicitor general, whom they view as pro-abortion.
At 10 a.m., the pack regrouped at a van parked down the street, where another man donned a Grim Reaper gown. But Capitol Police asked them to move their van, so one of the protesters departed to park elsewhere.
The remaining six — Terry, the Grim Reaper, a woman, an older man, a 20-something with a video camera and a preteen wearing a Led Zeppelin shirt — headed to Hart Senate Office Building to pay Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl a visit. They dropped off 10 little plastic fetuses, each lightly smeared with a dark red substance made to look like blood, and asked to meet with the Arizona Republican.
“He needs to stop talking trash on the Sunday morning shows about filibustering and then not come through,” Terry told the staff assistants. “He can be a hero or he can be a squish.”
“By the way, he’s the devil,” Terry added, pointing to his colleague in the Grim Reaper hood.
“I want Kyl to remain silent,” the hooded protester said.
One Kyl aide urged his staff to resist touching the plastic props, in case they were tainted with a hazardous material.
The staff insisted that the Senator doesn’t take walk-ins, so Terry’s group left, bound for Russell Senate Office Building to see Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whom Terry called the “maker of Jell-O” because he said he has a gelatinous spine and brain.
Terry dropped off four more plastic fetuses at the Kentucky Republican’s office. The protester who was videotaping the escapade was asked to turn his camera off. He did.
“We don’t want him to filibuster, actually,” the hooded man said. “Thanks from down below,” he said, adding a devilish laugh.
A McConnell aide called the group into a side office for about five minutes to talk about their cause.
Before leaving, Terry tried to offer the aide another plastic fetus, calling it his business card, but the aide refused, maintaining that it was not, in fact, a business card.
Terry said he plans to take his group on the road soon to several states with Republican Members of Congress in order to “browbeat them for their treachery and their cowardice.”