Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Join the Pro-Life Freedom Rides this Summer!

 Proclaim Freedom for the Unborn

The pro-life movement is all about freedom. That's why Priests for Life, with the leadership of our Pastoral Associate Dr. Alveda King, is launching "Freedom Rides" for the unborn to galvanize pro-life activity across the country.

During the Civil Rights movement, the "Freedom Rides" constituted a distinctive moment of resolve and unity. The Supreme Court, in its 1960 decision Boynton vs. Virginia, had outlawed segregation in bus terminals and restaurants serving interstate travelers. So the following spring, thirteen people – seven African-Americans and six whites – decided to travel by bus from Washington DC to New Orleans to test the enforcement of that Supreme Court decision.

Along the way, particularly in Alabama, they encountered opposition and violence from those who did not want desegregation. But having been brutally attacked, and some lying with wounds in hospital beds, the "Freedom Riders" vowed that the journey would continue. That's when others joined in, and the initial Freedom Ride became 60 rides across Southern states in the summer of 1961, with some 450 riders participating. And by the fall of that same year, the government issued orders for the enforcement of desegregation at the bus terminals.

The Civil Rights movement and the Pro-Life movement have the same heart and soul: a longing for equal justice for everyone, based on the inherent dignity of every human life. That's why, when Dr. Alveda King first walked with me at the annual March for Life and I asked her, "Does this remind you of the marches in the civil rights movement?" she declared, "Fr. Frank, this is the civil rights movement!" Both movements are movements of freedom.

It is therefore time for Freedom Rides for the unborn. The pro-life movement is more ready than ever to proclaim freedom…

Freedom from the lies and the deceit that allow abortion to continue…
Freedom from the fear of speaking up and taking action for the unborn…
Freedom from the shame and guilt of past involvement in abortion, so that those called to speak up and share their testimonies may do so as people who are "Silent No More"…
Freedom from the political oppression that tramples on human rights and denies equality before the law…
Freedom from violence and death itself.

People will be invited to participate in the Freedom Rides themselves. The bus rides are a symbol of the journey we are on, of the fellowship we share with each other, and of the fact that we are a movement. Major events in cities along the bus routes will be held, in which all the different facets of the pro-life movement will be invited to participate.

At the same time, people not on the rides or along the route can participate by being "Freedom Riders for the Unborn" and carrying out special projects that will be coordinated among Freedom Riders nationwide.

In his first public sermon, Jesus summarized his message and mission by saying he had come to "proclaim liberty to the captives…" As his disciples, as his People of Life, let us do the same!

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
June 30, 2010
Dear Friend of Life,
Because of your deep commitment to the Gospel of Life we wanted to personally invite you to join us for the inaugural and historic Pro-life Freedom Rides Campaign, an initiative of Priests for Life, July 23-24 in Birmingham, AL. and Atlanta, GA.
The Pro-life Freedom Rides Campaign highlights the fact that the pro-life movement is the civil rights movement of our day.
The Freedom Rides Campaign calls people across America to activities that free people from ignorance about abortion, that free moms and dads from the despair that leads to abortion, that free those who have had abortions from the burden of guilt and shame, that free our nation from unjust laws, and that free our unborn brothers and sisters from the violence of abortion.
You may join us in all or any of the segments of the Pro-life Freedom Rides Campaign:
            Friday Evening Assembly. SaturdayMorning Prayer Vigil. Caravan to the King Center, Atlanta. Closing Ceremony at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  
Everyone may participate in the suggested "Freedom Ride Activities Nationwide."
Please review the schedule and event details below and at
Please register your participation at whatever level today, and we hope to see many of you face to face in Birmingham and Atlanta, July 23-24.
We are united with you in proclaiming His freedom to every human person,
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Dr. Alveda King
Director, African American Outreach, Priests for Life
Event and Schedule Details
What: Pro-life Freedom Rides Campaign
Go to to download a single page flier to print and distribute (PDF)

Download a two-sided flier to print and distribute (pdf)
Where: Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia
When: Friday, July 23 – Saturday, July 24
Who: Dr. Alveda King, Fr. Frank Pavone, the Priests for Life Pastoral Team, and African-American Leaders from across the nation
Contact for further information: 718-980-4400 or toll free 1-888-735-3448 or email:
Friday, July 23
7pm-9pm: Rally (Assembly/Concert) at Birmingham Jefferson County Convention Complex (BJCC) Theatre, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North, Birmingham, AL 35203, 205.458.8400 / – (detailed information for the BJCC and Greater Birmingham)
Saturday, July 24
9am-11am: Prayer Vigil at Killing Center. Planned Parenthood: 1211 27th Place South, Birmingham, AL 35205
11:30am: Pro-life Freedom Ride Caravan departs Birmingham for Atlanta (An invited group of pro-life leaders will ride in the Freedom Ride bus. Interested pro-life activists and families are welcome to drive in their own vehicles in this pro-life caravan. We will drive (without stopping) the 2 and ½ hour drive to Atlanta. Vehicles may join up with or leave the caravan at any time as they need to.
4:00pm (ET) – Pro-life Service at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the King Center in Atlanta, 450 Auburn Avenue Northeast Atlanta, GA 30312, 404 893-9882 /  Refreshments to follow.
Those traveling to Birmingham may make accommodations at:
Sheraton Birmingham Hotel: *Special Rates for Pro-Life Freedom Riders Available until July 5*
Reserve online at
2101 Richard Arrington, Jr., Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL  35203
205-324-5000 (Be sure to mention "Pro-Life Freedom Rides")
Airport Information:
Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport, 

Hartsfield Jackson-Atlanta International Airport, 
*The Eternal Word Television Network is minutes away from downtown Birmingham: 205.271.2900 /
*Visit the Historic Birmingham Civil Rights District: