The National Park Service is refusing to give some pro-life groups permission to hold a sidewalk protest this Sunday when pro-abortion forces gather for a march in Washington, DC.
Sunday's pro-abortion rally which is billed as the “March for Women's Lives” has been described by the National Organization for Women (NOW) as “the most significant and massive abortion rights march in over a decade.” Thousands of abortion advocates are expected to participate in the event, which is sponsored by a coalition of pro-abortion groups including NOW, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Several pro-life groups are making plans to have counter-demonstrations and many of them have been granted permits to do so. But the Christian Defense Coalition and the group Generation Life have been denied a permit by the National Park Service. Those groups want to have 24 women who have been harmed by abortions standing silently across the street from the main rally point of Sunday's march.
The National Park Service says such a demonstration would be too disruptive to the March for Women's Lives. Brandi Swindell of Generation Life says she is appalled and outraged by the permit denial.
“I find it myself very disturbing that there's viewpoint discrimination against peaceful, nonviolent demonstrators who simply want to exercise their freedom of speech and this is clearly viewpoint discrimination,” she says. “[It] is absolutely shameful…and it's very un-American.”
Swindell says the women who want to participate in the counter-demonstration have both a right and a desire to be involved in Sunday's activities. “I also find it very troubling for the women that we have coming out here who have walked the road of having an abortion,” she says. “They have experienced that pain, and they are very, very passionate about this issue and they feel that it's their duty and their obligation to have a presence here.”
With the denial of a permit, Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition decided to take further action. “We filed for a temporary restraining order against the National Park Service,” Mahoney explains. “We have been assigned a judge, federal judge Gladys Kessler.”
That is not particularly good news since Judge Kessler has ruled against pro-lifers in the past. She also worked with the National Organization for Women to help establish its legal defense fund. Mahoney says permit or not, he will be there on Sunday.
(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR READERS
Catholic Exchange is free—but it is not free to produce. Advertising revenue covers only a fraction of the cost to generate reliably Catholic commentary and news, inspiring videos, a selection of the best Catholic blogs, and daily meditations and prayers.
To give us the strength and stability we need, Catholic Exchange is turning to you—our loyal reader—and asking you to become a monthly contributor.
Whether you can give $5 or $25, $50 or $100 each month, please leave something behind so we can continue—and strengthen—this important apostolate.
We are deeply grateful for one-time gifts, but we encourage you to choose “Monthly” on the drop-down menu. Your support will ensure that Catholic Exchange will be here during this most critical moment for the Church and America.