Birmingham, Alabama Abortion Center Subject of First Prayer Vigil in 13 Years
by Steven Ertelt
October 19, 2010
Birmingham, AL (LifeNews.com) — For the last 13 years, law enforcement officials in Birmingham, Alabama have arrested peaceful pro-life activists for praying and sharing the pro-life message on a public sidewalk outside a local abortion business.
Tired of police arresting pro-life advocates because of a misinterpretation of a federal injunction issued at that time, pro-lifers plan to offer a pro-life witness on the sidewalk even if it means risking going to prison.
The groups will conduct the prayer vigil at the New Woman All Women abortion center next Wednesday and they plan to appear the abortion center every morning for four days. These activities are part of a week long event called "The Birmingham Letter Project" sponsored by the pro-life group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust and will also include events at local high schools and colleges.
The activists will move forward with their peaceful, free speech activities even if it means being charged with contempt of a federal court order, the told LifeNews.com today.
"An abuse of free speech rights has been allowed to continue in Birmingham, Alabama for 13 years. That has silenced the life saving voices of sidewalk counselors and spelled death for babies that otherwise might have been saved," Jeff White of Survivors said.
"We will peacefully cross into this illegally applied bubble zone and be a loud voice for these babies," he added.
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, the director of the Christian Defense Coalition, is also participating in the challenge to the bubble zone law.
He said the activities are inspired by the civil rights activists who also refused to stay silent.
"A generation ago activists gathered in Birmingham, Alabama to fight the horror of racism, segregation and injustice. They were willing to face the force of powerful fire houses, jail and vicious police dogs to end segregation, establish human rights for all and celebrate the First Amendment," he told LifeNews.com. "Their courage and heroic efforts inspire us today as we fight to end the horror and violence of abortion and establish human rights for all."
"As we gather to pray on the streets of Birmingham we want to send a clear message that we will not be bullied or intimidated into surrendering our First Amendment rights in defense of innocent life," he said. "After 13 years of harassment, the pro-life community will be a bold, prophetic public witness."
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