George Mason University Arrests Pro-Life Advocates Educating on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
January 29, 2009
Fairfax, VA (LifeNews.com) — Officials at George Mason University in Virginia arrested two members of a pro-life team attempting to educate students about the problems with abortion. On Monday, two college-age members of the Survivors Campus Life Tour were arrested at the college while distributing pro-life literature on the public campus.
From the time of their arrival on campus the group quietly held signs, distributed literature and peacefully dialogued with students.
When a student complained about the pro-life presence on school, a campus police officer asked the pro-life advocates to leave the campus.
When members of the tour refused to stop their free speech activity and leave the public school property, the two team members handing out literature to students were handcuffed and arrested.
They were charged with causing a disturbance, although the police later described the group as polite, well behaved, courteous, and respectful.
Cristianna Cherf, 21, one of the team members who had been arrested, told LifeNews.com, "I feel like these arrests are unfortunate because my mission is to reveal the truth of abortion, not to fight for my First Amendment rights."
"I feel like these arrests are unfortunate because my mission is to reveal the truth of abortion, not to fight for my First Amendment rights," she added.
"It saddens me that so much of my time was consumed with my most basic rights being violated and infringed upon, when I was there to peacefully and respectfully educate students on the abortion debate," Cherf continued.
Kortney Blythe, director of Campus Life Tours for Survivors, told LifeNews.com, "My team members were peacefully exercising their free speech rights. To deny them that right is unconstitutional and is nothing more than content-based viewpoint discrimination."
"I find it unethical for the college and the police to arrest people for simply exercising their rights to free speech. No matter what the subject, the Constitution guarantees the right to free speech and no school administrators should ever be allowed to take that right away simply because they don’t like the message," she said.
Related web sites:
Survivors – https://www.survivors.la
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