ABOVE: Pro-life advocates Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes, co-founders of At The Well Ministries appeared on the Tuesday afternoon edition of CBN's Newswatch to talk about their recent arrest and to give their side of the story. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel.
The irony apparently was lost on authorities when two days into the massive protests in New York City against the police killing of George Floyd, they took into custody two lone black women protesting abortion in front of the Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood facility in Manhattan.
The women say they were standing - legally - on a public sidewalk, and not blocking the entrance to the abortion clinic, a fact confirmed by a video showing employees entering the building.
But pro-life advocates Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes, co-founders of At the Well Ministries, were handcuffed and taken away in a police cruiser, even as they prayed and sought to engage with people entering the building. According to LiveActionNews, police told Beatty and Chavannes that they had to leave because they were violating COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, in place through executive orders from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"This is a clear statement of their bias now. It's blatant now," Beatty told Fox News, noting the thousands crowded together during Floyd protests. "It's really truly biased against Christians, against pro-life abolitionists."
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Beatty expressed her concern to Live Action News that while she is being arrested for standing up for the lives of babies and women, looters are currently getting away with stealing. Even as Christians across the country have marched with protesters and stood in solidarity against the murder of George Floyd, she believes there is an opportunity right now for the Church to "wake up" and realize that abortion is "a biblical issue," and the Church needs to take a stand for life in the womb as well.
"We're black women but we do not support Black Lives Matter because they're hand-in-hand with Planned Parenthood that kills African-American babies," Beatty said in an interview with Fox News. "They're fraudulent hypocrites... and I believe all lives matter because God created them. There are thousands of George Floyds that die every day in their mother's womb and it's just as unjust as when he died at the hands of that police officer."
Beatty says they've been standing for children's and women's lives outside the Planned Parenthood building for awhile now trying to bring the Gospel to them, because as she says, the women "need help just as well as the babies." But she believes authorities are using the virus now to stifle their legitimate speech and action.
"We feel like it's just another reason Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo can just push this agenda because the reality is this: How is abortion essential? How are stores closing and we can't have Red Lobster and we can't go to church or fellowship but you can still go and kill a baby?"
The women face a court date of September 25th.
Similar arrests of pro-life sidewalk counselors have been made in other states. In April, CBN News reported the arrest of pro-life advocate David Benham outside a Charlotte, NC abortion clinic as he sought to engage with women entering the abortion business building. He was cited for violating stay-at-home orders due to county COVID-19 regulations.