Freedom Ride for life

Freedom Ride for lifePro-life leaders are taking a page from the civil rights movement's playbook and hosting a Freedom Ride to "transform the culture of death into the culture of life."

The Pro-Life Freedom Ride will be held this summer and is based on a movement that began in 1961 when 13 individuals boarded a bus headed from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans. The group set out to test the enforcement of a 1960 Supreme Court decision that outlawed racial segregation in restaurants and waiting areas of bus terminals.

"In those days we were fighting for the civil rights of people being persecuted ... because of their skin color," said Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life, which is leading the campaign. "Another precious class of human beings is now suffering discrimination ... and the threat to them is abortion."

The current effort has support from African-American pro-life advocates including the Rev. Sam Mosteller, Georgia State president for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Catherine Davis, director of minority outreach for Georgia Right to Life, which helped sponsor billboards in Atlanta that proclaim, "Black children are an endangered species."

An awareness campaign began in April and will run up to the July 23-25 event, when participants will ride a bus from Birmingham, Ala., to Atlanta to show their opposition to abortion. More rides may be scheduled next year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Freedom Rides.

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