At 5 a.m. on Saturday, pro-lifers in Baltimore and with Students for Life of America gathered to paint “black preborn lives matter,” covering the street with the large letters outside of a Planned Parenthood facility. The group called it a “success” after no arrests were made.
Student for Life and Frederick Douglass Foundation joined with local Baltimore pro-life activists outside the Planned Parenthood to paint on the street early this morning! #BlackPrebornLivesMatter— studentsforlife (@StudentsforLife) September 5, 2020
Visit https://t.co/Wn7BiaMXAH to learn more. pic.twitter.com/MX3482Tq52
Police officers arrived on scene during the painting process on N. Howard St. in Baltimore. While they contacted the supervisor of the event to get more information, they did not arrest anyone or order anyone to vacate the area.
The officers were given shirts with “black preborn lives matter” printed on them, which they posed with for a photo.
During a similar pro-life painting event last month in Washington, D.C., two members of the SFLA community were arrested for using sidewalk chalk on a walkway outside of a Planned Parenthood. The chalk they were using had been approved by D.C. Metropolitan Police department before and the area they were drawing on was not Planned Parenthood property.
SFLA said “legal action is underway” regarding the Washington arrests.
Before Saturday, SFLA sent a letter to Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young requesting a permit for the event. The permit was never granted or denied, an SFLA spokesperson told The Christian Post. The letter addressed other paintings of expression supported by Mayor Young and demanded that the same permission be granted for SFLA.
“City officials intervened to allow a Black Lives Matter artwork to continue to be displayed. We ask that our message of hope and a future – BLACK PREBORN LIVES MATTER – receive the same support and respect in Baltimore. We are asking you, Mayor Young, to respond promptly to our permit with permission to add our message in favor of the dignity of Black preborn life to the public forum of the city streets, which you have opened to others," the letter stated.
The letter further suggested that to allow some forms of protected speech and not others is unmerited discrimination:
“You must allow SFLA and FDF to paint its BLACK PREBORN LIVES MATTER message. Your original decision to paint 'Black Lives Matter' on the street may very well be government speech. However, your decision to allow private citizens to paint additional messages such as 'Defund the Police' and 'Black Trans Lives Matter' and to intervene on behalf of a public display of another’s speech indicates that public areas are now an open forum for free speech. You are not permitted to discriminate on the basis of viewpoint in making determinations relating to public assemblies in public fora. The message of the preborn will not be silenced.”
Other organizations that partnered with SFLA for the Baltimore event included The Frederick Douglass Foundation, Pro-Black Pro-Life, Relationships Matter, Human Coalition Action, The Restoration Project: Human Coalition, and Created Equal.
A statement released by SFLA acknowledged the disproportionate number of abortions that occur within minority communities:
“Though only 13 percent of the female population, African American women make up 38 percent of all reported abortions. Perhaps that is because 4 out of 5 Planned Parenthood vendors are within walking distance of minority-dense neighborhoods, according to a Supreme Court amicus brief.”
SFLA President Kristan Hawkins also spoke to the disproportionate numbers:
“We are working to confront Planned Parenthood’s racist past and present, and organizing for a different future. The nation’s number one abortion vendor operates their business in such a way that minority lives are lost in far greater proportions. Consider that the abortion industry think tank established by Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute, notes ‘the abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women.’ Margaret Sanger’s racist legacy must come to an end as we defund Planned Parenthood to invest in real healthcare that save lives, not ends lives.”