An Episcopal priest who runs one of the largest pro-abortion groups in America slammed pro-lifers for protesting peacefully outside abortion facilities during the coronavirus crisis.
The Very Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, an Episcopal priest and president of the National Abortion Federation, claimed pro-lifers are endangering lives by standing on the sidewalk outside abortion facilities, CNS News reports.
“It is absolutely shameful that anti-abortion groups and individuals are ignoring public health guidance and putting patients, clinic staff and law enforcement at risk,” Ragsdale said in a statement this week.
Abortion facilities really are the ones putting people at risk by remaining open during the crisis. Not only are they still aborting unborn babies in elective abortions, they also are risking the health of their staff, volunteers and patients. And even though abortions are not essential, abortion facilities continue to use up personal protective equipment and other medical supplies that hospitals desperately need for legitimate life-saving medical care.
As long as abortion facilities remain open, some pro-life advocates say they will not stop standing outside to offer life-saving information and support to moms and babies. Some already have been cited and arrested for doing so in California, Michigan and North Carolina.
Ragsdale urged local law enforcement and politicians to keep using coronavirus restrictions to punish pro-life sidewalk counselors.
“Law enforcement must enforce current orders to restrict gatherings and travel,” she said. “And leaders in the anti-abortion movement should stop instructing their followers to blatantly ignore public health guidance and condemn protests and gatherings outside abortion clinics.”
But pro-life leaders are urging pro-life sidewalk counselors to follow health and safety restrictions by going individually or in small groups, staying at least 6 feet apart and respecting local authorities’ orders. One pro-life man in Detroit, Michigan said he was standing alone outside an abortion facility when 15 police officers showed up and cited him for violating a local coronavirus mandate. The city later dropped the charge after he filed a lawsuit.
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Ragsdale lobbed other unsubstantiated claims against pro-life sidewalk counselors as well.
“This behavior blatantly ignores the CDC guidance and can feel particularly threatening to patients now that concerns about the coronavirus are heightened,” she continued. “We have even heard reports of protesters intentionally coughing on clinic escorts and making physical contact with patients and providers attempting to enter clinics.”
She did not provide any police reports or other evidence to back up her claims.
The minister also criticized pro-life advocates as “selfish” and claimed they “care more about their personal agenda than the health, well-being, or lives of anyone.”
“We each have a duty to protect the health and safety of our families, our communities, and our nation,” she said.
This much is true, but Ragsdale and those she is advocating for are doing the opposite. They are killing unborn babies, while pro-lifers are trying to save them.
The pro-life organization Love Life, whose members were arrested recently while praying outside a North Carolina abortion facility, said it has been urging pro-life sidewalk counselors to keep themselves and others safe by practicing social distancing measures. However, its leaders emphasized that they will not stop standing outside abortion facilities as long as babies are being killed inside.
“Until the doors of abortion centers are closed, we are encouraging and challenging The Church and all Christians across this nation to start prayer walking individually at their local abortion centers where innocent lives are being taken,” the organization said. “Let’s be diligent to practice social distancing while we prayer walk. ”
Across the country, pro-life advocates have been cited, arrested and threatened with arrest for praying and sidewalk counseling outside abortion facilities during the health crisis. Earlier this month, pro-life Christian David Benham was arrested while praying outside an abortion facility in Charlotte, North Carolina.