NC Values Coalition Statement on the Arrest of Christians Praying in Public outside Abortion Clinic in Greensboro
"The North Carolina Values condemns the actions of Greensboro police for arresting Christians who peacefully and legally pray and exercise their religious rights on the sidewalks outside an abortion clinic. Not even in communist China would police arrest three men for walking and praying on the street" said Jim Quick, State Director of Grassroots & Media at North Carolina Values Coalition. "Since Governor Cooper refused to close abortion clinics as part of his administration's order to cease elective medical procedures these men were simply exercising their constitutional rights to pray outside one of the clinics that remain open. Abortion is an elective procedure and Governor Cooper should have closed abortion clinics and urged abortion providers to donate their PPE and other equipment to coronavirus response, just as he did with hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers that perform elective procedures.
- Three Christian men, including Justin Reeder, the founder of Love Life USA, were arrested while praying and exercising on the sidewalks outside a Greensboro abortion clinic.
- While churches, schools, and businesses are closed, NC Governor Roy Cooper has maintained that abortion clinics are essential and must remain open.
- Over 3,125 North Carolinians have signed a petition and sent letters to Governor Cooper urging him to close the abortion centers during this crisis. https://www.ncvalues.org/close_abortion_clinics
- Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Maryland have closed their abortion clinics.
- Pro-Life groups such as Love Love and Cities4Life have individuals who have committed to pray for the unborn on the sidewalks as long as Governor Cooper permits the clinics to be open.
- Love Life is a North Carolina nonprofit with a mission to unite to pray outside abortion clinics in North Carolina and New York. After the prayer walks they urge participants to mobilize in their communities, to bring a culture of love and life. Over the last three years, over 300+ churches have united to mobilize 65,000 North Carolinians to bring love and life to their cities through prayer, orphan and foster care, mentoring, medical care, resources, and jobs.
- Last week Love Life issued a statement on their website saying, "Since abortion centers REMAIN OPEN, we will be prayer walking individually. The group instructed volunteers in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro to pray and abide by social distancing guidelines.
- In a Facebook Video, Greensboro police earlier today issued warnings for the small group of five Christians to leave the area. When Love Life volunteers questioned the officers and mentioned the Greensboro Stay-At-Home proclamation (in effect at 5pm last night) which allows for public exercise anywhere in the city if social distancing is maintained, the officers issued citations and arrested them.
- In a follow-up Facebook Video, a Love Life volunteer confirmed that the three men were arrested.
- The Stay-At-Home order issued by Governor Cooper on Friday clearly sets an exception for religious groups to exercise religious freedom in groups of less than ten individuals.
"As our country comes together to battle the threat of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Americans are heroically rising to the challenge of social distancing and helping the vulnerable. However, there is one clear outlier – the abortion industry. It is irresponsible and dangerous for abortionists to put patients at risk of contracting the virus and to consume masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment in short supply." according to Tami Fitzgerald Executive Director of NC Values Coalition.
This week the North Carolina Values Coalition led a coalition of faith leaders across North Carolina requested Governor Cooper to include abortion centers in a directive issued by NC Health & Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen directed hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to suspend all elective and non-urgent procedures and surgeries. [Letter to Governor Cooper]. The North Carolina Values Coalition joined with 50 national organizations calling for Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to halt both surgical and chemical abortions in order to free up much needed medical equipment and decrease the demand placed on [emergency rooms] due to complications from both medical and surgical abortion. [Letter to Secretary Azar]
"By ceasing both surgical and chemical abortions now, abortion providers will free up much needed medical equipment and decrease the demand placed on ER’s due to complications from both medical and surgical abortion. This also will protect women who will, without doubt, need follow-up care, including infection treatment and transfusions, from North Carolina’s emergency care centers and hospitals."