It is now more important for government and law enforcement officials to protect abortion in our nation’s capital then it is for them to protect the First Amendment, free speech and civil liberties.
Police officers arrested Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney for praying on a public sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, June 8.
This arrest followed weeks of Washington, D.C. police officers threatening to arrest members of the pro-life community for praying and counseling on the public sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. For years, the pro-life community has prayed, counseled and held peaceful witness on the public property in front of Planned Parenthood.
This situation developed after Planned Parenthood applied for a public permit to construct an iron fence around their property.
However, the construction of the fence did not change the description of the land and according to city records it still remains public. Also, Planned Parenthood and the City of Washington, D.C. have not presented one piece of evidence or documentation showing the property has now become private.
James Henderson, Senior Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice who is representing Rev. Mahoney, states,
“After we learned that Planned Parenthood installed the fence, and that police were threatening to arrest those that prayed or counseled on the public spaces within the fence, we extensively researched the status of that property.
“The Public Spaces Branch of the District’s Department of Transportation maintains the the database of public properties in Washington, D.C. During meetings with that department, two different sources confirmed to us that Washington, D.C. owned a 50-foot right of way along the public sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. So, we know for a fact that Rev. Mahoney was arrested on public property when he was charged with crime of unlawful entry.”
The Christian Defense Coalition plans a major national campaign to address this ban on the First Amendment in Washington, D.C. later this summer.
For more information contact Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 540.538.4741 202.547.1735
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