Pro-life Christian David Benham was arrested Saturday while praying outside an abortion facility in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed that they arrested eight people outside the abortion facility for allegedly violating a stay-at-home order during the coronavirus outbreak, the Christian Post reports.
Benham’s is not the first arrest in recent days. While abortion facilities in most states are allowed to remain open during the pandemic to abort unborn babies in elective procedures, pro-life advocates are being persecuted for standing outside trying to save them.
Benham runs a pro-life charity called Cities for Life that has helped more than 5,000 mothers choose life for their unborn babies, according to the report. On Saturday, he said he and four other sidewalk counselors were standing outside the Charlotte abortion facility to pray and offer help to the mothers going inside.
“My boys and I went to support the awesome sidewalk counselors who work with our non-profit, Cities for Life,” he wrote on Twitter. “We offer life-affirming services for at-risk mothers. It’s been an absolute privilege serving over 5,000 vulnerable mothers who felt abortion was their only choice!”
He said they took precautions to keep themselves and others healthy, including staying at least 6-feet apart and limiting their group to less than 10 people.
“We were not belligerent… We simply stood our ground. MLK once said, ‘A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right,’” Benham said.
He posted a video of his arrest on Twitter. The video shows him explaining to police why they were there and how they were within their rights to do so. However, Benham said police still arrested him.
“The sidewalk counselors stayed over 6’ apart and there were less than five of them. Yet this officer selectively enforced the law, even though Cities4Life had less than 10 people,” he wrote on Twitter.
— Benham Brothers (@BenhamBrothers) April 4, 2020
According to one local news report, WBTV, there were about 50 people outside the abortion facility Saturday when the police arrived, but Benham disputed the report.
According to police, they issued 12 citations and arrested eight people who refused to leave. Police said those people were charged with violating emergency prohibitions/restrictions.
On Sunday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a pro-life Republican from Texas, came to Benham’s defense and slammed his arrest as unconstitutional. Cruz said the pro-lifers were exercising their “core First Amendment rights” and were doing so peacefully and safely.
“Because elected Dems are pro-abortion, they are abusing their power—in a one-sided way—to silence pregnancy counselors,” Cruz wrote on Twitter.
John Snyder, a North Carolina attorney and legal analyst, told Spectrum News that he also believes the arrests were unconstitutional.
According to the report:
“Constitutionally, they have a right to be out there, expressing their views and assisting in the way they believe they are. They have that First Amendment protection,” Snyder said.
Even if the group had more than 10 people gathering, Snyder says they have the constitutional right to assemble. However, he said groups must take health risks into consideration.
“There is no question the health benefits of what is being required of people but the Constitution has not been suspended.” Snyder said.
Benham and his brother, Jason, are the identical twin brothers who were set to host a house-flipping reality show called Flip It Forward on HGTV several years ago. However, the channel canceled the show after activists protested the brothers’ Christian views on family.
Most states now have stay-at-home orders as well as temporary restrictions on non-essential medical procedures to conserve medical supplies and stop further spread of the coronavirus. However, pro-abortion Democrat leaders in several states are showing favoritism to the abortion industry, allowing abortion facilities to remain open to abort unborn babies in elective abortions.
Pro-life sidewalk counselors have said they will continue to stand outside abortion facilities to pray and offer support as long as unborn babies are being aborted.