Arresting Pro-Lifers Doesn’t Pay

Survivors arrest

Survivors member Brianna Baxter is arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, March 6 [Photo via LifeSiteNews]

Kristina Garza and Brianna Baxter, two members of the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust‘s unflinching Campus Life Team, were recently arrested and spent 24 hours in jail.

Their “crime”?

Peacefully conducting a pro-life demonstration on a public sidewalk outside a high school in Jackson, Mississippi.


Yes, really.

See for yourself:

During the 24 hours they were in jail, they weren’t given food or water.

Garza reports that officers told them, “You don’t talk about abortion in Mississippi,” and that that’s the reason why they were arrested.

Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler recently created a graphic illustrating how heroic these pro-life women’s witness really is:

Consider the outrageousness of it all, and then take note of another closely related story in the news recently in which the State of Maryland agreed to pay $385,000 to members of the stalwart pro-life activist group Defend Life after State Police grossly violated their First and Fourth Amendment rights nearly four years ago.

Pro-Life Teens Arrested, Strip Searched, and Denied Contact with Attorneys

On August 1, 2008, 18 members of Defend Life were arrested by Maryland State Police while they were displaying graphic abortion signs during their annual “Face the Truth” Tour.

Some of those who were arrested — including two minors, ages 14 and 17 — were put into leg shackles, strip searched twice, denied the right to make phone calls, and denied contact with their attorneys.

One of the attorneys representing the Defend Life activists, Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center, explained that it took nearly four years to reach a settlement in the case because it was “vigorously defended by the municipalities and the state police,” adding that it “took a good bit of persistence” on his part and that of the other attorneys on the case.

Arresting Pro-Lifers: A Very Expensive Proposition

It took some time, but now the State of Maryland is paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars to make up for the manifestly unjust treatment and incarceration of 18 citizens for doing nothing other than exercising their First Amendment rights.

Surely, Kristina Garza and Brianna Baxter will also be awarded a settlement as a result of their similar maltreatment and unlawful arrest at the hands of the powers that be in Mississippi.

God willing, though, they won’t have to wait for justice as long as the Defend Life activists did.

As Tom Brejcha noted, “There are a lot of police officers whose good, hard efforts and support of people’s rights we applaud, but there are these bad apples, and one by one we’ve got to go after them and make sure that our rights are respected everywhere.”

Quite so.

We pro-lifers care deeply about the First Amendment and will fight tooth and nail when civil authorities violate the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly — not to mention freedom of religion — that it guarantees.

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