Two pro-life activists were arrested Saturday while chalking “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” on the sidewalk outside of a D.C. Planned Parenthood. 22-year old Towson University student Erica Caporaletti was arrested along with 29-year old D.C. resident Warner DePriest. They were arrested in the midst of writing this phrase and charged with defacing public or private property. They were detained and later released.
These students were participating in a protest event organized by Students for Life of America. There were around two dozen young people involved who were painting the street of the 1200 block of Fourth Street NE as part of their initiative to show America the impact of abortion on America.
A petition from Students for Life explains the reasoning behind the demonstration, explaining that “Just weeks ago D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser painted the streets of the city with a powerful slogan, “BLACK LIVES MATTER.” They were curious as to why they got in trouble, while Bowser was praised for her actions. The petition says, “In doing this, she proclaimed not only what those of us in the pro-life genuinely believe and fight for every day in-front of Planned Parenthoods and other abortion facilities across America. But she also opened up the streets of Washington, D.C. for public expression.”
“It’s a scary thing to [be] arrested for something that I’ve done so often, which is to simply share my conviction that abortion is a human rights issue of our day costing the loss of black lives and harming women in this and every community,” reflects DePriest. He adds, “Our free speech rights are meaningless if we can’t use them, and women need to know that we are here to support and help them.“
The president of Students for Life of America, Kristan Hawkins, further remarked on the obvious hypocrisy at play, saying, “The fact that two Students for Life of America students were arrested for chalking ‘Black Preborn Lives Matter’ shows that government officials are practicing viewpoint discrimination to unconstitutionally block pro-life American’s Free Speech rights. If you open the door to free speech on the city streets to one group, you can’t shut it to the others.”
This event needs to be shouted far and wide; the public needs to be aware of how lethal government censorship can be to the free speech rights of America. If the only opinions that are allowed to be heard are the ones the media wants to hear, that is censorship and should not be allowed in America.