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Pro-life Activists to Challenge Prayer Ban on Public Sidewalk in Front of Washington, D.C. Planned Parenthood Clinic

by Staff
August 5, 2010
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WASHINGTON, ( -- Activists will pray on the public sidewalk Saturday, August 14 as part of an event called "A Time to Stand" even if it means arrest and going to jail.

This event follows the recent arrest of a man in Chicago for praying in front of an abortion clinic there.

For years the pro-life community was allowed to pray, counsel and hold demonstrations on that sidewalk and surrounding area in front of the Washington, D.C. Planned Parenthood (see photo).

Now law enforcement officials are threatening to arrest people for simply praying on the public sidewalk and on June 8, Rev. Patrick Mahoney (pictured above) was arrested for praying and reading the Bible.

Although Planned Parenthood says the land is now "private" they have not produced one piece of evidence, documentation or notice showing the sidewalk is no longer public.

The American Center for Law and Justice, who is representing Rev. Mahoney, met with D.C. City officials who confirmed the sidewalk still remains public.

The pro-life community wants to make it clear they will not be bullied or intimidated into surrendering their First Amendment rights even if that means going to jail for prayer and peaceful witness.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,

"On August 14, we are going to embrace free speech, the First Amendment and religious liberty and pray on the public sidewalk leading up to Planned Parenthood. We will not be bullied or intimidated into silence.

"It is tragic that peaceful Americans are being threatened with arrest and actually being arrested for simply praying on a public sidewalk and offering women help who are facing a crisis pregnancy.

"It is unconscionable that the City of Washington, D.C. would ban and prohibit prayer and the First Amendment on a public sidewalk while protecting abortion and Planned Parenthood.

"With the recent arrest of a man praying in front of an abortion clinic in Chicago, the question must be asked, is this future of free speech and abortion under the Obama Administration?"

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