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Anti-abortion rally launches "Pro-Life Freedom Ride"
The Birmingham News
Invoking the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, anti-abortion clergy members and their supporters gathered tonight at the BJCC to embark on a "Pro-Life Freedom Ride."
The group, Priests For Life, plans to hold a prayer vigil Saturday morning at Birmingham's Planned Parenthood before departing for Atlanta, where they will hold a service at King's tomb.
King's niece, Alveda King, is the director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and was present at tonight's rally.
"I have no doubt that if they were alive, my uncle Martin and my father A.D. would be with us on these Freedom Rides for the unborn," she said in a statement issued prior to the rally.
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, told the audience tonight that they fight for "equal protection for our youngest brothers and sisters."
The anti-abortion movement, Pavone said, is a natural extension of the civil rights crusade King championed until his death in 1968 as they seek "nonviolence against the unborn."
Pavone said they reach out to women contemplating abortion or who have had an abortion.
"We are a movement that reaches out to those who are oppressed. Come to us, we will help you," Pavone said.
"It's not a matter of freedom of choice. It's a matter of people who feel they have no freedom and no choice."
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