STATEN ISLAND, New York, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Priests for Life has announced that the second pro-life Freedom Ride will occur in Tennessee on October 15 and 16. For those who are unable to attend the ride in person, the group has set up a host of activities to help everyone take part in the fight to end abortion and bring about a culture of life.
The pro-life Freedom Rides are patterned after the Freedom Rides engaged in by civil-rights activists, who rode buses into the segregated southern United States in 1961. They were often arrested and brutally attacked by opponents for purposefully disobeying signs segregating whites from African-Americans in public bus terminals, as they had been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
"Like the Freedom Rides of five decades ago," said Fr. Frank Pavone, leader of Priests for Life, "these freedom rides symbolize the principle of the greater movement of which they are 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."
The first pro-life Freedom Ride occurred on July 23-24, and began at Birmingham, Alabama before concluding at Atlanta. Riders had intended to end with a prayer vigil at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but were unable to do so because they were turned away from the King Center.
Nevertheless, Priests for Life still considered it a resounding success, with more than 150 Freedom Riders.
The second pro-life Freedom Ride is starting in Knoxville with Fr. Frank Pavone and Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It will feature prayer, addresses, and song on the evening of Friday, October 15.
The next morning, participants will pray at the local abortuary and then board a bus to ride to the National Memorial for the Unborn at Chattanooga. There they will hold a ceremony calling for nationwide repentance and healing, featuring testimony from women who have undergone abortion.
Even if they cannot come to Tennessee, Priests for Life is asking people to pray a nine-week novena of Prayer for Our National Elections, from September 1 to November 2.
They are also calling on people to register voters at their local parishes on Sunday, September 12, 2010, "Voter Registration Sunday." The Freedom Ride, taking place just a few weeks before the national elections, is meant to call for citizens to take an active and informed part in advancing the culture of life.
Individuals may register to take part in a national webcast on September 7 to discuss how to participate in the Freedom Rides and promote the culture of life in their own communities.
Fr. Frank Pavone says he believes the work of building a culture of life is one with the work of promoting civil rights.
"The civil rights movement and the pro-life movement have the same heart and soul: a longing for equal justice for everyone, based on the inherent dignity of every human life," he said.
See related stories on LifeSiteNews.com:
Pro-Life Freedom Rides Launch in Alabama
Pro-Life Freedom Rides Announced for This Summer