I along with thousands of other movie goers filled theatres last year to watch the popular film, “The Help”. “The Help” told a story of injustice, racism and unexpected friendships between whites and blacks in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960’s. The film got great reviews and many saw it as a symbol of progress; a tell-tale sign of how far we’ve come. While the credits rolled and others clapped, I sat in my seat with a gnawing feeling on the inside. Deep in my heart, I knew the battle for justice for the weak and oppressed was far from over. I wondered how we could celebrate the steps we’ve made as a nation, while simultaneously ignoring the plunging depths to which we’ve fallen.
The recent arrest of two young adults in Jackson, Mississippi is a jarring example of our need for continued social justice. WLBT Local Jackson News reports that Brianna Baxter and Kristina Garza, members of the California group, Survivors of Abortion Holocaust, were accused of jeopardizing the safety of students and interfering with a bus driver as they passed out pro-life literature to students exiting Murrah High School. Garza informed WLBT news that she and Baxter were harassed on their first day of outreach at the school and told if they returned the next day they would be arrested. The young women did come back a second day which lead to a public arrest and a night spent in prison. The arrest was caught on tape along with another video the ladies posted to YouTube.
Some were quick to condemn these pro-life activists. Jackson Public Schools Interim Superintendent, Dr. Jayne Sargent, said the schoolhouse is not a place for such demonstrations.
Others wholeheartedly support them. LifeSiteNews quoted Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life:
I consider the Survivors to be a movement within the pro-life movement, inspiring all of us to give ourselves more generously for the unborn. Sometimes that means arrest and prison, not for doing wrong, but for standing up against wrongdoing.
Brianna and Kristina deny the accusations made against them. They said they never interfered with any bus drivers, let alone spoke to any. They acknowledge being on a public sidewalk where they had a constitutional right to speak freely. Although they received no answers when questioning officers to the reason for their arrest, they were later told by officers not involved in the case that “you don’t talk about abortion in Mississippi,” and that’s why they were arrested.
Garza told LifeSiteNews that high school students are “being marketed for abortions:”
Planned Parenthood has already been in their schools since they were in junior high. For them to see the images is absolutely necessary. They need to know what an abortion is. They’re hearing about it from one side, they need to hear the truth as well.
I agree with these brave young women. I believe Mississippi will become a pro-life state. They made great progress this week when a bill banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat was passed in their House of Representatives. May they continue to not only talk about abortion, but work to bring it to an end!
To watch a news video about the arrest go here.