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Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

Hundreds of people will be in Louisiana this week demonstrating against abortion clinics.

And while the group promises the gatherings will be calm, both police and pro-abortion groups say plans are in place to insure safety for patients.

In the driving rain, a few dozen members of Operation Save America began its week-long stance against abortion.

'Real families are being destroyed. Real babies are being ripped from their mother's womb,' said Chet Gallagher, Director of Just Show Up Ministries in Las Vegas.

'There were four girls that changed their mind, four little babies that are going to live, simply because we showed up,' said Pastor Bill Shanks of New Covenant Fellowship in Kenner.

From coast to coast, 300 members will be in town, in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport invited by Pastor Shanks.

They call it 'proclaiming' not 'protesting' what they say is taking a life. They say the gathering will be peaceful.

'All of the things that you've heard about violence and all, hey look at this, kids, moms and dads. This is middle America here. There's nothing here that's going to cause any sort of violence or anything else,' said Shanks.

Police say they are experts at big crowds and have a detailed and robust plan to deal with any demonstration or problems.

'The main goal of that plan is to allow every, every individual the opportunity to express their opinions and rights under the First Amendment, but do that in a safe and a matter which is legal under the law,'said Commander Paul Noel of the Second District New Orleans Police Department. 'We now have body cameras, which is great, because it records all of the interactions that our police officers have with the community. We're going to be using the body cameras for this and we're excited to have them.'

Groups that support access to abortions say they will provide safety as well.

'With groups like this, our primary concern is the safety of the patients, the public, and the providers,' said Jessie Nieblas a board member with the New Orleans Abortion Fund. 'We will have clinic escorts and legal observers at all of the places where there are protesters and they will be working to insure that women can enter the clinic and that providers and the general public are safe from intimidation and harassment and violent rhetoric.'

Along with being outside of the Uptown clinic and the Metairie clinic, Operation Save America is also planning a Tuesday morning memorial service in Jackson Square at 10 a.m.

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