A pro-life group is using the Freedom Rides of the 1960’s to send a message: the unborn are denied inalienable rights.
Dr. Alveda King, the niece of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., organized the Pro-Life Freedom Ride with the national director of Priests for Life, Father Frank Pavone.
This event is a first of its kind. It borrows tactics from the civil rights movement to bring attention to what many say is a woman’s right to choose.
The group gathered at Caldwell Park in Birmingham, Alabama before marching to a Planned Parenthood clinic for a prayer vigil Saturday morning. They then boarded a bus, as many did more than 40 years ago, and carravaned to Atlanta, Georgia for a prayer service at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We’re trying to do a couple different things,” said spokesperson Leslie Palma. “Abortion is this generation’s greatest violation of civil rights. We also are trying to get African-Americans on board a civil rights movement.”
Palma said Dr. Alveda King and Father Pavone thought of the idea years ago during a march for life movement in Washington, D.C. It’s taken some time to get the event organized but Palma said the symbolism was too good to overlook.
She says they expect at least one group of protesters at the King Center in Atlanta since not everyone agrees with the correlation.
“People have a right to do what they do under the Constitution and in our laws,” said GA Representative Tyrone Brooks. “I respect that right. I defend their right to do it. But this is an inappropriate linkage to the Civil Rights Movement there's no doubt about that.”
Brooks has been active in the Civil Rights Movement since he was just 15-years old. He says Dr. Alveda King is a dear friend of his and he respects her. He does not, however, agree with her efforts to link the abortion debate to the struggle against racisim.