CORRECTION: The pro-life Freedom Ride event was organized and led by a multi-denominational group of protestors and advocates--not just Catholics. Secondly, Martin Luther King's niece, Alveda King, was a co-creator and leader of the Freedom Rides. Ms King is the African-American Outreach Coordinator for Priests for Life, the group that organized the rally.
Watch this exclusive video from the Catholic protests at Planned Parenthood in Birmingham, AL, and the anti-abortion rally at Dr. Martin Luther King's tomb in Atlanta. Share your thoughts by commenting below!
Video by Hunter Stuart
ATLANTA -- A Catholic anti-abortion group used the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s grave on Saturday for a large rally to protest against legalized abortion.
The group, Priests for Life, gathered together with dozens of supporters early Saturday morning at a Planned Parenthood facility in Birmingham, AL. (Photo to left: Priests For Life outside a Birmingham Planned Parenthood)
"Martin Luther King, Jr. was an advocate for the oppressed, and no one is more oppressed than the 52 million unborn children who have been killed in the womb," said Denis Wilde, the Associate Director of Priests for Life, and an Augustinian priest. "The womb is the most dangerous place to live."
Other speakers at the rally quoted Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. One priest stated, "The Supreme Court has been the cause of extreme violence in this country."
Several of the anti-abortion protestors carried signs proclaiming "Abortion is the #1 killer of Blacks in America."
After hours of speeches advocating against abortion, the group boarded a bus emblazoned with the words "Pro Life Freedom Ride" and drove to MLK's tomb in Atlanta, 150 miles away.
The "Pro Life Freedom Ride" was a reference to the Freedom Rides of the 1960's, when civil rights activists rode interstate buses in the South to advocate for racial equality.
When the "Pro Life Freedom Ride" bus reached Atlanta, there was a group of pro-choice protestors from the groups SisterSong, SPARK, and SisterLove waiting there to meet them. The pro-choice groups chanted "Trust black women!" and "Can't Re-Write History!" through a megaphone.
"No one has the right to co-opt the legacy of Dr. King," Heidi Williamson of SisterSong said. "We are all benefactors, especially black women."
"I've studied civil rights, and I never heard Fannie Lou Hamer or Dr. King or Ella Baker or anyone try to take our rights away from us," a pro-choice activist named Etget told me.
The anti-abortion Catholic group was stopped by security when it attempted to lay a wreath on Dr. King's tomb.