TAMPA — A busload of women who oppose abortion made their final stop of a nationwide tour on the outskirts of downtown on Thursday afternoon.
Their targets: Planned Parenthood, President Barack Obama and his "extreme team" of Democrats in Congress, including Sen. Bill Nelson.
Their ammunition: personal post-abortion testimonies and anecdotes from sidewalks of abortion clinics.
Michele Herzog, an antiabortion activist from Orlando, said she once protested in front of the clinic of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller, who in 2009 was shot and killed at his church. She said his clinic had a "full-size incinerator."
"Our windshields were covered with babies' ashes," she said, standing in the shade of the "Women Speak Out: Abortion is Not Health Care" bus parked at Phil Bourquardez Park on N Tampa Street. A truck, omnipresent in downtown Tampa during the convention, featuring photographs of fetuses circled the rally a couple of times.
Herzog, 57, said she had five abortions in her 20s, something with which she still struggles.
The bus tour, sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List, traveled through Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio and Virginia before making its final stop in Tampa, timed, of course, with the Republican National Convention. At the helm is former U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo.
The Florida portion of the bus tour is co-sponsored by the Florida Family Policy Council, Florida Right to Life and Florida Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
Around 35 people attended Thursday's rally. Musgrave said Republicans are focused on getting people to the polls based on the economy, while she sees her role as getting out the antiabortion vote.
Mary Kimball, a Tampa mother of seven, came to the rally with three of her daughters.
"I think it's critical to show them they need to take a stand," she said.