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The Bible and Public Policy

Charlotte Democrats Use 'Stay at Home' Order to Crack Down on Pro-lifers

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

A constitutional crisis is unfolding in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the police department arrested a group of pro-life demonstrators for violating the state's "Stay at Home" order.


A small group representing Cities4Life staged a weekend protest outside the Preferred Women's Health Center of Charlotte. Video of the protest shows the group maintained proper social distancing requirements.

However, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department determined the gathering violated a state order banning "mass gatherings."

In other words it's permissible under the law for abortion doctors to kill unborn babies, but it's not permissible for law-abiding pro-lifers to assemble in protest. 

Among the eight individuals arrested was Cities4Life board chairman David Benham, a nationally-known Christian leader and prominent North Carolina businessman. He was handcuffed and hauled off to jail.

"They arrested me," Benham said during an interview on The Todd Starnes Radio Show. "We were doing everything within our rights under the law. We went above and beyond."

Why would the police arrest a handful of law-abiding pro-lifers when the local parks were packed with people violating social distancing regulations?

"This is a constitutional crisis," Benham said. "This is clear government overreach. This is viewpoint discrimination."


Benham has a legitimate argument. If he had been standing in a local park he would not have been arrested. But he was standing outside an abortion clinic - and that was a problem for Democrat leaders in the area.

"They aren't arresting people in the park that are gathering way more than 10 people," he said. "They are not arresting people outside your hipster store. They arrested me."

Clearly, the government leaders in Charlotte seek the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to crack down on pro-lifers.

"Do we have a global pandemic? Yes. Do statutes that help social distancing, should we abide by those, yes? Should we give the government unlimited powers, especially those that cannot stand our values, that cannot stand constitutional liberties, that do not like our pro-life message, that do not like the fact that we honor family and marriage and virtue," Benham asked.

The Todd Starnes Radio Show has been documenting attacks on civil liberties across the nation, but the police action against the pro-lifers in Charlotte is the most egregious.

"The people in Charlotte - the city attorney, the mayor, several council members – they targeted our Christian, law-abiding citizens simply because we are speaking a message they don’t like," Benham told Starnes. "Simply because we are providing essential services at an abortion facility. They want us off the streets. And it’s not going to happen."


Benham said he does not fault the police officers. He said they were just doing their jobs -- even though they knew what they were doing was unconstitutional.

Regardless, Benham said his organization will not be bullied or silenced by the Democrats who control the city's government.

"If abortion is an essential business, then our pro-life ministry is also an essential business," he declared.

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