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Pro-life Leaders to Hold Prayer Vigil and News Conference at the Supreme Court During the Arguments on 'McCullen v. Coakley'

Contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, 540-538-4741

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- The news conference will be on Wednesday, January 15, at 10:00 A.M. on the public sidewalk in front of the Court.

Some of the groups participating  will be the Christian Defense Coalition, CEC for Life and Students for Life.

"McCullen" addresses the constitutionality of a 35 foot buffer zone directed toward pro-life activists outside of Massachusetts abortion clinics.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, one of the organizers of the news conference, will be sharing his experiences of having  been arrested, jailed and fined numerous times over the past 25 years challenging buffer zones at abortion clinics across America.

Rev. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, comments;

    "Tragically, the State of Massachusetts has shown utter contempt for free speech and the First Amendment, by setting up buffer zones outside of abortion clinics.

    "Every American should have the right to articulate their views in the public square free from government interference, harassment and persecution regardless of what those views and ideas might be.

    "These buffer zones, which discriminate against members of the pro-life community, are just as offensive as laws that denied African-Americans their basic First Amendment rights during the era of segregation.  The only difference is, pro-life activists are being arrested for their beliefs rather than their skin color.

    "These buffer zones also deny women, seeking abortions, the opportunity to hear about  positive, compassionate  real life-affirming alternatives to abortion and receiving concrete assistance to help keep their child.

    "Our hope and prayer is that the Supreme Court will side with the First Amendment and free speech and strike down these unconstitutional buffer zones which trample and crush Americans basic free speech rights."
 
Missy Martinez, the National High School Program Coordinator for Students for Life, states;
     
    "Massachusetts recently passed a law which criminalizes sidewalk counseling and prohibits pro-life supporters from standing on public sidewalks if they are within 35 feet of the entrance, exit, or driveway of an abortion facility.

    "The law is intended to keep pro-life advocates from engaging abortion-minded women as they enter the facility and is threatening to eliminate a pregnant woman's last chance to hear of hope.

    "With almost 800 pro-life student groups around the nation, Students for Life works with hundreds of students who participate in peaceful sidewalk counseling and prayer vigils outside of their local abortion facilities. The public sidewalk is in danger of becoming off-limits to these American citizens.

    "The Supreme Court needs to strike down this unconstitutional law and allow individuals to reach out to women in need. Massachusetts is setting a dangerous precedent that could potentially affect our young people's ability to practice their First Amendment rights and offer real counseling to women."
 
Father Terry Gensemer, Director of CEC for Life, adds;
     
    "The public sidewalk has always been a place of ministry for the pro-life movement and, therefore, a target of attack from the abortion industry.

    "Abortion providers know that if they eliminate the voice of pro-life citizens offering women options, then those women can be talked into an abortion. We pray that the Supreme Court will not only see this truth, but will also choose to protect the free speech rights of American citizens over catering to the unceasing greed of the abortion industry."
 
For more information or interviews call:
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 540.538.4741