Pro-Life Advocates Arrested at White House Backing Chen Guangcheng

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 4, 2012   |   1:07PM   |   Washington, DC

Leading pro-life advocates rallied this morning at the White House for forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng, who may be close to heading to the United States if China approves an application for him to study here. At least one pro-life advocate was arrested, with as many as five facing arrest for praying in front of the White House.

Participants prayed for Chen Guangcheng and his family and called upon President Obama and the United States to ensure his safety and protection. Some of the participants also peacefully risked arrest by kneeling in prayer in front of the White House.

Organizations tell LifeNews the Obama Administration has betrayed the principles of human rights and freedom by initially allowing Chen to be taken by the Chinese government without assuring that those rights and his safety would be protected. They say Chen only left the American Embassy under the fear of the Chinese government threatening violence and brutality against his wife and point out that Chen now wants to leave China for a safe country.

Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life, after hearing of the arrests, talked with LifeNews.

“While China has begun to make statements that they will allow Chen and his family to travel abroad – the Guangcheng family is not safe and this does not end until they are on American soil. Chen is a pro-life hero and for our assistant director and the president of the pro-life group at Liberty University, along with a pastor and other leaders, to stand with him through arrest shows our government the seriousness of the abuses of forced abortion in China and the importance of protecting human rights activists like Chen Guangcheng,” she said.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, who has a 25 year history of speaking out against the human rights abuses by the Chinese government and was twice arrested during the Beijing Olympics and deported back to the United States for helping lead demonstrations in China, led the rally.

“We call upon President Obama and his administration to honor the founding principles of this nation and embrace human rights and justice for Chen Guangcheng,” he said. “It is a disgrace and outrage that Mr. Chen, who was in the protective custody of the American Embassy, has now been allowed to be turned over to the Chinese government where he and his family will face unspeakable violence and brutality.”

“The only reason Mr. Chen left the Embassy was because he was told that his wife would be beaten if he did not leave immediately. He now wants to leave China and fears for his safety and the safety of his family,” Mahoney added. “It is critical that President Obama not betray Chen Guangcheng and the principles of justice that he has been imprisoned, beaten and tortured for.”

Sign the Petition: President Obama: Protect Chen Guangcheng

“It is ironic that as President Obama has been touting his leadership in ‘getting’ Osama Bin Laden that he would now show no moral courage or leadership in standing up to the Chinese government and demanding the release and safety of Chen Guangcheng and calling for them to embrace human rights,” Mahoney continued. “Mr. President this is watershed moment for America. We respectfully ask that you do not break covenant with the values and principles of this nation and ensure that Chen Guangcheng and his family are secure and protected. The eyes of the world are watching.”

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, supported the rally with public comments backing Chen.

“There is no way to ensure their safety if they remain in China,” he said. The whole world is watching this situation, and we must act now.

“Chen has been courageous enough to speak out against forced abortion and sterilization in China. But for too long, the United States has been silent about the brutality with which these policies are enforced, and the way those who oppose them are silenced. We cannot be silent about the very real danger facing Chen, his wife, Yuan Weijing, and those who helped him,” Pavone added.

Father Pavone urged everyone to contact their U.S. Senators and Representatives about this matter.