Clearing the Path for Truth

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Elderly Pro-Life Advocate Charged With Harassment

Huntsville, Alabama – An elderly pro-life advocate in Huntsville was arrested last month after spraying Holy Water on a public sidewalk outside an abortion clinic. Joyce Fecteau, a 70-year-old mother of seven, faithfully prays and counsels women from this sidewalk. The Center for Religious Expression will be assisting Fecteau’s criminal defense.

Pro-life sidewalk counselors are vital to the effort to protect vulnerable women and the unborn. Many women feel helpless and trapped, and sidewalk counselors are able to provide them with hope and information about alternate choices. Once they are inside the clinic, any counseling provided is paid for by the profits from abortion and must encourage abortions to stay in business.

Over many years, Joyce Fecteau has helped save hundreds of women and their children from the pain of abortion as a sidewalk counselor. Recently, abortion rights activists began protesting against the sidewalk counselors and harassing them.

Though the activists purported to be providing women “safe passage” into the clinic, they harassed and bullied the sidewalk counselors and those gathered to pray. They did not allow women any access to the sidewalk counselors. And one of their practices was burning smudge sticks, used in Native American and pagan rituals, which produce smoke that can be heavy and hazardous.

The pro-abortion activists came into Fecteau’ space, harassing her in an effort to intimidate her. Fecteau had experienced breathing problems from the smudge sticks’ smoke and she brought holy water to spray at the smoke to try to dissipate it, so she would not be forced to leave. She never sprayed any person, only the smoke itself, but a pro-abortion activist filed a harassment complaint against Fecteau, claiming that she had been sprayed with an “unknown liquid.” Based on this allegation, Huntsville police officers found Fecteau while she was sidewalk counseling, handcuffed her, and arrested her. Fecteau pled not guilty and is awaiting trial, which is scheduled for February 21st.

“The Center for Religious Expression is committed to clearing the path for truth,” said Chief Counsel Nate Kellum. “Though some may seek to silence them, Fecteau and others have the constitutional right to boldly share their Christian beliefs on the sidewalks of Huntsville, and we are committed to ensuring that their voices are heard.”

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