A national anti-abortion group today in Birmingham's historic Kelly Ingram Park, announced a series of "Pro-Life Freedom Rides" will be held this summer modeled after the 1961 rides to protest desegregation in the South.
Freedom riders in 1961 were met by violent mobs in Birmingham and Anniston as they came through the South.
The first "Pro-life Freedom Ride" will be held July 23-25 and will be launched in Birmingham with a concert and rally featuring local and national anti-abortion leaders, said Alveda King, director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life and niece of Martin Luther King Jr.
A statue of her uncle is at one end of Kelly Ingram Park. A statue at the opposite end includes the image of her father, the Rev. A.D. King, along with other ministers who led civil rights marches in the 1960s.
"We join our lives and hearts together with those who have gone before us, we take to the bus, to the streets of America, riding for justice and freedom for all from conception until natural death," King said. She said she will be on the first freedom ride July 23-25.
The Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, also was at the press conference. "Like the freedom rides of five decades ago, these freedom rides symbolize the principle of the greater movement of which they are a part, namely, that justice and equal protection of human rights belong to each and every human being, regardless of size or age or any other condition," Pavone said.