COVID-19 has changed almost everything about my life, in just the span of a few weeks.
I went from walking to my college classes with friends to sitting alone staring at a computer screen for hours interacting with my classmates over Zoom. I went from buying groceries in the store surrounded by smiling faces to cautiously staying six feet apart from my masked neighbors. My summer job at a kids’ camp was canceled until July and even that date is tentative. Nothing is certain right now.
And those are minor things compared to those who have had health complications due to the coronavirus or who have lost their jobs. The world suddenly seems very different.
But, unfortunately, injustice has not disappeared just because a pandemic has enveloped the globe.
Protecting the Vulnerable
I met with a friend of mine last week who had an abortion in 2017. She still feels broken and regretful. The experience still brings her to tears. She just takes it day by day. Her baby girl would have been two years old this June.
Women facing unexpected pregnancies need even more love and support during this pandemic. With so much uncertainty, they need to know all their options. They need to know that people care about them. Love Life, a Christian organization that seeks to offer women support in crisis pregnancies, has been doing just that in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Or, they were… until the government stopped them.
The county issued a “stay-at-home” order in response to COVID-19, but certain outdoor activities like exercising and even golfing were exempted, as well as non-profit organizations seeking to aid vulnerable people.
Love Life falls squarely under those exemptions. And that’s why—carefully following social distancing guidelines—the organization continued its activities. Less than ten Love Life volunteers, abiding by the order, stood praying outside of the abortion clinic six feet apart from each other. Yet, the Greensboro police arrested them for breaking the law even though they were in full compliance with its stipulations.
These actions reveal a glaring double standard: Abortion procedures, which are deemed essential services, can continue. But pro-life services that offer emotional support and hope for women facing crisis pregnancies—emotionally broken young women like my friend—are targeted and stopped.
Even in the wake of COVID-19, Alliance Defending Freedom will not stop fighting against injustice. That’s why ADF filed a lawsuit against city and county officials on behalf of these Love Life volunteers.
Defending the Faith
These pro-life advocates are not the only people facing legal issues during this pandemic.
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, faces yet another lawsuit because of his beliefs. He has undergone punishment, harassment, and discrimination for his faith for more than seven years. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in his favor in 2018 and rebuking the Colorado government for its hostility toward his religious beliefs, Jack continues to be targeted for his faith.
At oral arguments in his case on April 9, ADF advocated for his right not to be forced to express messages that go against his core beliefs.
Jack serves all people, but he cannot express all messages. Yet, he faces the threat of losing everything.
COVID-19 is spreading. But its spread is not stopping injustice.
ADF is committed to standing with these people facing injustice so that they can freely exercise their beliefs and offer desperately needed support to vulnerable individuals during this global crisis.