Planned Parenthood at 1108 16th Street NW in Washington, DC is the abortion mecca-mill where pro-lifers by the hundreds pray and protest during the annual March for Life every January, for instance in 2009…
… and also at other times throughout the year, as this video taken in October 2009 shows, when Christendom College’s (Front Royal, VA) Shield of Roses pro-life group organized “Mega Shield 2009″ in front of the mill. Over 200 people took part, “its biggest protest in over 30 years of existence”…
But here’s how the front of that PP looks today, 3 weeks after it suddenly posted a fence, gate, and “Private Property: No Trespassing” sign (click to enlarge)…
Now Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition will challenge what appears to be PP’s flagrant attempt to deny the bothersome 1st Amendment rights of pro-lifers.
Mahoney (pictured left) has applied for a permit to protest to hold a prayer vigil on the public sidewalk leading to the entrance of that PP on June 8 at 11a.
“We’ve researched, and there has been no changeover of the land,” Mahoney told me by phone. “It appears PP was tired of pro-lifers giving out literature and praying and unilaterally decided to erect a fence.”
Since the fence went up PP has called DC police to have sidewalk counselors arrested. “There’s real confusion on the part of the police department,” said Mahoney. “We’re hoping our permit application will force the police department and legal counsel to conduct proper research.”
Whether Mahoney receives his permit or is turned down, he plans to pray on the sidewalk in front of the mill on June 8. “And then we would fight the fence in 2 ways, via the court system if we are falsely arrested and by seeking injunctive relief.
Mahoney has quite a history with this particular PP and trespassing wars dating back to the 1980s.
“For years PP said the sidewalk leading up to PP about 45 feet and grassy area on either side was private, so we abided,” said Mahoney.
Then in the 1990s when Mahoney’s group was convicted of a FACE violation they discovered the property wasn’t private after all during litigation.
“So for the past 10 or 15 years hundreds and thousands of people have prayed and protested in the very area PP now claims is not public but private,” said Mahoney.
The activists are being represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow’s group.
No worries, I’ll be following this story.