Pro-Life demonstrators arrested at Jackson high school

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Pro-Life supporters returned to a Jackson high school Tuesday to spread their message to students.

The California group distributed literature to students before being taken into custody.

Brianna Baxter and Kristina Garza of California were arrested by J.P.S. Campus Enforcement Officers after school officials said they were interfering with a school bus driver and jeopardizing student safety as they handed out Pro-Life literature to students leaving Murrah High School.

It is a charge the two deny.

Earlier members of Survivors of Abortion Holocaust, a California missionary team, passed out pamphlets and held up giant posters of aborted fetuses on the sidewalk in front of the school.

"Yesterday we had Jackson P.D. threaten to arrest us," Garza said. "They said if we came back today, which we are then they would arrest us for standing on the sidewalk and trying to reach out to students."

The demonstrators said their first amendment rights to free speech were violated.

Some parents were shocked that their children were shown the graphic images.

"Minors are being marketed for abortion so we believe that they should know the truth," Garza said. "They deserve to know what they're getting themselves into because we know that teenagers do get pregnant and do have abortions."

"This just shows the extremes that the Pro-Life movement will go to to show up at a high school with inaccurate pictures of aborted fetuses because the pictures they generally show are representative of late term abortions which are not practiced in Mississippi," said Lauri Roberts with Mississippi Women Are Representing, a Pro-Choice organization.

Pro-Life demonstrators disagree.

Jackson Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Jayne Sargent said the school house is not a place for such demonstrations.

"The demonstrators had been contacted in advance and asked not to go on the Murrah campus. Our Campus Enforcement Officers had no recourse but to arrest the demonstrators," Sargent said.

Baxter and Garza were being held at the Hinds County Detention Center.

Survivors of Abortion Holocaust said their next stop is Birmingham, followed by Florida.

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