CHARLOTTE, N.C. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is accusing North Carolina police of overstepping their bounds — even in the midst of the Wuhan virus scare — by arresting pro-life Christians as they prayed outside a Charlotte abortion facility.
More and more pro-lifers around the country are being harassed and arrested for doing what is constitutionally protected activity, Cruz claims, which is praying and sidewalk counseling in front of killing centers. While in the midst of the Wuhan virus pandemic it is deemed "non-essential" to quietly protest the killing of innocent children, in many states the killing itself remains "essential."
The Texas senator shared a video of David Benham being arrested, one of eight peaceful protesters arrested in front of the abortion facility on Saturday.
"We have the authority to be here," Benham informed the police officers as they approached him. "I understand. I appreciate your service, I really do, and I'm very thankful," Benham told a police officer who talked to him in a scolding manner.
2/x WATCH: This is an unconstitutional arrest. @BenhamBrothers exercising core First Amendment rights. PEACEFULLY. In a way fully consistent w/ public safety. Because elected Dems are pro-abortion, they are abusing their power—in a one-sided way—to silence pregnancy counselors. https://t.co/at4UxQrXBU— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 4, 2020
"We are a recognized charity, you know this," Benham softly retorted. "We are offering essential services to these mothers, and you know this," he continued.
"And we are practicing social distancing," Benham respectfully informed the police officer as he was being handcuffed. "We are doing everything well within the ordinance, well within the provision."
"It's a state statute," the police officer is heard saying to Benham before apprehending him. "[We are acting] Well within the state statute," Benham responded. Nevertheless, he was taken away in handcuffs.
Benham, who runs a pro-life charity called Cities for Life that has helped more than 5,000 mothers choose life for their unborn babies, was one of eight arrests at that abortion facility that day, according to local police.
Senator Cruz tweeted, "This is an unconstitutional arrest. @BenhamBrothers exercising core First Amendment rights. PEACEFULLY. In a way fully consistent w/ public safety. Because elected Dems are pro-abortion, they are abusing their power—in a one-sided way—to silence pregnancy counselors."
Cruz cited the law 42 USC 1983, which states: "Every person who ... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity or other proper proceeding for redress ... ."
He went on to criticize Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper, a supporter of legal abortion, for allowing abortion facilities to keep killing unborn babies in elective abortions. "If NC deems abortion 'essential', then pregnancy care services are as well," Cruz wrote. "This is WRONG; Governor Cooper should be ashamed."
Cruz has not been the only one speaking out publicly on the right to peacefully speak in defense of innocent human life. John Snyder, a North Carolina attorney and legal analyst said earlier that he also believes the arrests were unconstitutional.
"Constitutionally, they have a right to be out there, expressing their views and assisting in the way they believe they are. They have that First Amendment protection," Snyder said.
Many states now have stay-at-home orders from civil authorities as well as temporary restrictions on non-essential medical procedures, in order to conserve medical supplies and stop further spread of the virus. However, abortion-supporting Democrat leaders in several states have been criticized for showing favoritism to the abortion industry, allowing the killing centers to remain open.
Benham made sure his group took precautions to keep themselves and others healthy, including staying at least six feet apart and limiting their group to fewer than 10 people. "We were not belligerent," he said. "We simply stood our ground. MLK once said, 'A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right,'" Benham said.
Pro-life sidewalk counselors also were arrested in San Francisco, California and Greensboro, North Carolina within the past two weeks for allegedly violating stay-at-home orders. Despite this, pro-lifers are resolute to continue their presence outside abortion facilities to pray and offer support as long as unborn babies are being killed.