Conservative, pro-life activist David Benham was arrested outside an abortion clinic over the weekend for allegedly violating state and federal coronavirus guidelines.
Prior to his arrest, Benham, who gained notoriety when he and his brother were slated to host an HGTV show that was ultimately cancelled due to their Christian faith, was praying and offering sidewalk counseling outside a North Carolina facility, according to the Daily Caller.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued a stay-at-home order on March 27 until April 29, barring gatherings of more than 10 people and ordering state residents to stay at home except for essential businesses or outings, like to get groceries, seek medical care, or exercise.
Benham claimed he and four others were at the clinic representing his Cities4Life nonprofit. He also had with him a mobile ultrasound unit attended by two people.
“The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said there was a cluster, that there were 50 protesters,” he recalled. “And of course, none of that is true.”
In a video he posted online, Benham told police officers he and his fellow volunteers “are within our rights to be here,” noting there were more than 10 people working inside the clinic at the time they were arrested.
“We are practicing social distancing, we have cleaned our hands,” he told the cop. “We are offering help to these mothers, and if you’re saying we don’t have the right to be here, then go into the abortion clinic and make the arrests there.”
The police officer told Benham he doesn’t “have the authority” to go into the abortion clinic. In response, the pro-life activist asked him why, then, he has the authority to “bully” peaceful demonstrators.
As he was being handcuffed, Benham said: “You know I am well within my constitutional authority to be here. You know that we’re doing the right thing.”
Ultimately, Benham was booked and released later Saturday.
In a tweet posted Monday, Benham called out the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, claiming all eight arrests officers have made were of pro-life demonstrators.