Two pro-life activists are alleging bias among New York City officials after they were arrested while standing in front of an abortion clinic amid the protests over George Floyd’s death.
The controversy started the morning of May 30, when pro-life activists Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes arrived on the sidewalk in front of the Margaret Sanger Center Planned Parenthood in Manhattan, Live Action reported.
Planned Parenthood had set up a barricade on either side of the entrance, allowing patients to enter the clinic from the street.
Although it is illegal in New York City to block the entrance to an abortion clinic, Beatty and Chavannes said they were there to counsel the women and were not blocking or harassing anyone, Live Action reported. Both women were standing within the barricade, although it was wide enough to allow multiple people to pass.
Planned Parenthood then called the police.
“[Planned Parenthood is] not following social distancing, mind you – the person I’m standing with I actually live with so we don’t need to follow social distancing. But the police were saying we were violating social distancing and the only ones that are supposed to be there are the ones that work there,” Beatty told Live Action News. “And we told them we’re not moving because it’s a public sidewalk and we have a right to be there. They could be there because they work for Planned Parenthood, but we work for Jesus so as long as this is a public sidewalk, we can be here.”
Police arrested the two women for failure to disperse,” Live Action reported.
“We’ve been at that clinic for a while standing for children’s lives and bringing the gospel to these women because they need help just as well as the babies. And we feel COVID has been used strategically to push a bias against abolitionists,” Beatty said. “We’re pro-life but we’re abolitionists. We feel like it’s just another reason Mayor [Bill] de Blasio and Governor [Andrew] Cuomo can just push this agenda because the reality is this: How is abortion essential? How are stores closing and we can’t have Red Lobster and we can’t go to church or fellowship but you can still go and kill a baby?”
Beatty told Fox News their arrest was “a clear statement” of the city’s “bias.”
“It's blatant now,” she said.
Said Chavannes, “Churches are closed in New York City but this place is open?”
Photo courtesy: Bevelyn Beatty Facebook Page
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.