By Deborah Riffenburgh — As threats against sidewalk counselors increase during the COVID-19 health crisis, thousands of people have signed a petition of support for the brave men and women who stand on the front lines. That petition is now being delivered, and local police departments, city councils, and politicians are starting to take notice.
The Personhood Alliance partnered with LifeSiteNews to launch a petition to demand that that the rights of sidewalk counselors be protected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Affiliates and allies of the Personhood Alliance have hand-delivered more than 15,000 signatures to state and local leaders around the country, in the communities most impacted by sidewalk counselors’ arrests and threats of arrest for peacefully witnessing outside abortion facilities. These arrests and threats are egregious violations of First Amendment rights.
Delivery in Maryland
Gualberto Garcia Jones, President of the Personhood Alliance, delivered the petition signatures to the mayor, city council, and chief of police in Hagerstown, Maryland, where local prayer warriors have been continuously harassed outside a local abortion facility and threatened with fines up to $5,000.
Georgia Kijesky, president of our affiliate Personhood Maryland, is determined to get the petition into Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s hands as well – by certified mail if necessary.
Delivery in Wisconsin
Our affiliate Pro-Life Wisconsin’s legislative director Matt Sande and state director Dan Miller delivered over 15,000 signatures to Representative Shae Sortwell. Brave Wisconsin pro-lifers continue to witness under threat of arrest, but have determined that as long as abortion clinics are open, their truly essential life-saving work must go on. Pro-Life Wisconsin is also petitioning Governor Tony Evers to shut down the state’s abortion facilities for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency order.
Delivery in North Carolina
Multiple people have been arrested in North Carolina, on at least three separate occasions. This included 11 sidewalk counselors from Love Life Charlotte and David Benham, founder of Cities4Life. You can watch the Facebook video of Benham’s arrest here. Pastor Keith Pavlansky, president of our affiliate Personhood North Carolina, an organization that partners with Love Life Charlotte, helped bail out those who were arrested. Pastor Keith delivered petitions to the Greensboro city council and police department and said they are already beginning to see changes take place:
“The petition is a way for the entire body of Christ to pull itself together and to show a solidarity and a unity that needs to exist there. So I just want to pass along a thank you. There’s already been a big difference, a huge difference in the city of Greensboro in regards to these pastors that were arrested.”
Delivery in California
Pro-lifers in Ventura, California, joined with me to personally deliver petitions to the Police Chief and the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. In a surprising show of support, one of the officers told us:
“You are welcome to keep doing what you are doing, and you don’t need to leave. America has freedom of speech.”
In San Francisco, Robert Byrd, Executive Coordinator at Pro-Life San Francisco; Enggrid Tija of San Francisco Life Runners; and local activist Matthew Prewett, took the petition to the Ingleside Police Station and the San Francisco City Attorney’s office. They are also requesting a public apology for the arrest of long-time sidewalk advocate Ron Konopaski.
Our petition with LifeSiteNews is still active, and now has over 16,000 signatures. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to add your name. If you’ve already signed, THANK YOU.
This is one simple way we can all make a difference during these uncertain times—one powerful way to send a message that says, “We will not be silenced!”
Deborah Riffenburgh is the social media coordinator for the Personhood Alliance and has been active in pro-life media for several years. But most importantly, she’s a California mom who is fighting against the lies of our culture and for the protection of every human being without exception.
41 comments on “Petition to support sidewalk counselors’ rights delivered across the country”
All babies are created in the Holy image of Almighty God!
Let us continue to pray for the unborn, the most vulnerable .
Praise God we still have the FREEDOM to speak and pray! We will continue to do so until we go home to be with Jesus!!
I pray for the innocent unborn who can’t speak for themselves….
I also pray for the murderers hearts: that they be touched & they come to know You Jesus as their personal Lord & Savior. Then the scales from their eyes and hearts will fall away & they’ll see the horror of horrors that they’ve been doing… let them stop the madness when they come to know You Lord Jesus.
Hi… I saw your name is Mary Howell, and you may not be the Mary Howell my family and I knew, but are you by any chance Mary Howell Payne from Hanceville, AL? If so, my name is Caeli Cunningham.. and I thought I’d say hi.. if you aren’t, I’m sorry if I weirded you out or anything!
God bless you!
There is no law, code or pronouncement that tops the US Constitution, unless we let it. In these matters, they only have the right to suggest. We have the right to assemble and the right to practice our religion regardless of any state or local authority, unless we believe the weenies.
We must constantly demonstrate and practice this belief in front of all police and civil authorities. Remember, they get their power from us, not the other way around.
Sidewalk counseling is the right to assemble, period. Whether the local authorities like it or not.
Outside our Planned Parenthood they plainclothes police have tried to threaten us about people being outside. We keep the and distance and ignore them. They go away because they know they can’t stop us. They are afraid their police departments will be sued.
Abortion is Murder in the 1st degree for the person doing the abortion and the person receiving the abortion.
They need to be educated. Ps 139 God formed you in your mothers womb. God forbids Abortion. You shall NOT kill.
I have been there on the forefront of trying to help mothers save their babies from abortion. Some were brought to the planned parenthood clinic in Montclair, CA by their pimps, boyfriends and unbelievably their own mother’s. At times I was by myself but prayed to our Lord…No Abortions today. I was threatened by the male manager of the clinic but thankfully the local police were on the side of the Pro Lifers. God Bless ALL Pro Lifers who put themselves on the front lines of this battle between heaven and hell for the sake of the mother and precious innocent life of a baby~ p.s. This clinic has been shut down! Amen. Amen.
You are very bold and brave. I am in awe of those who are led to do this. May the Lord continually protect and bless you with His wisdom and discernment, granting you overflowing favor as you minister to others.
Pray to The HOLY FAMILY ST JOSEPH WILL PROTECT YOU OUR BLESSED MOTHER RAP YOU IN HER BLUE MANTLE OF PROTECTION AND THE CHILD JESUS BE YOUR CONSTANT COMPANION
Let us protect unborn, God’s creation.
At this time we are frightened of the pain of our death think of the pain of our sons and daughters ripped out of their mothers womb.
Freedom to worship our Lord and share His Good News is a standard for America.
Women having abortions become the victims alongside their children. Imagine the countless numbers of walking,wounded girls and women there are. Their rights have been perverted by the lies of the culture and the lack of informed consent. May we never forget that each abortion has at least two victims.
We are the voice for those who are the most vulnerable in our society.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!
God Bless our wonderful pro-life sidewalk counselors and prayer warriors!
I think you’re wonderful and extremely brave. I read about you in ireland all the time.
May Almighty God bless you and mind you for ever.
Thank you for protecting the unborn!!! God is going to punish those murderers!!!
Life is sacred from the moment of conception. I am against our wishing to remove God and instead inserting our values into the womb. A mother who decides she doesn’t want the baby, can easily give it to a couple who does!
All life is sacred and precious created by God , thank you for all you do… May Our Blessed Mother Mary intercede for us with Saint Joseph… Especially now as the Bishops re- Consecrated America to Our Blessed Mother only finishing 20 minutes ago…
Nobody can kill innocent baby
Amen to the above comments!
God Bless our pro-life sidewalk counselors & prayer warriors!
Abortion clinics are not essential businesses. There are many of us who are not allowed to work during this pandemic and we contribute healthy, positive services to our communities. Abortion clinics do neither.
Since they’re allowed to stay open and destroy human lives (babies and mothers), it is only right that pro-life witnesses be able to be there to pray and give the Mother’s a “choice” about their decision.
Abortion is murder and let our babies have a say so.
We must not let the pandemic be an excuse for infringing on religious freedom and freedom of speech as long as protests are peaceful and social distancing is observed.
Women that do not want children should be using contraceptives prior to having coitus, not abortion after.
Thank you so much for standing up for the innocent who cannot speak for themselves. May God bless you!!
Thank you for your work!
Every life is a precious gift from God!
Protect all sidewalk counselors please.
Please protect our Freedom of Speech!
We must make sure these voices are heard.
Thank you to All Counselors; Good (God) will prevail!
We must speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Thankyou to all who proactively take this fight to the streets. God bless you. Babies have the right to life
All life is precious and created by God.