This story began back in 2008 when 18 pro-life advocates were arrested for standing on a public street and sharing a pro-life message. They were handcuffed, hauled to jail and not told what the charges were until the next day. The three females in the group, two of them under 18 were strip searched—twice. The pro-life group has sued the Maryland state police officers involved and this week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit upheld a district court decision and denied the request of the police officers that they be immune to charges related to the incident.
This is a case of harassment and denial of rights by officers for what appears to be nothing more than a bias against the pro-life advocates and their message. As I read an article by LifeSite News and see the photo of the young woman being handcuffed, I am very troubled—not only at the injustice of the situation, but also because I have spent enough time involved with pro-life individuals, especially the youth, to know of their goodness, their motivations and their innocence. These are just good kids, trying to do a good thing—something they deeply believe in. To picture them being handcuffed, thrown into a jail cell and strip searched! is a little much for me to handle.
This should be a wakeup call for people of all political persuasions. At what point did we lose our right to stand on a public street, not obstructing or causing harm, and express our opinion? The Maryland State troopers involved must be held accountable for their actions.
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