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The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) told Fox News Digital that they are “aware” of what they described as “potential disruptions associated with First Amendment demonstrations” Sunday in the wake of some anti-abortion activists calling for protests at Catholic churches.
“MPD is aware of potential disruptions associated with First Amendment demonstrations,” a spokesperson said. “MPD will be monitoring, assessing and planning accordingly with our local and federal partners. We have increased available resources, including the activation of our Civil Disturbance Units, in preparation for these activities.”
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MPD did not respond to Fox News’ request for clarification regarding whether they regard disrupting a religious service as protected by the First Amendment, nor did they share if any groups received permits to demonstrate.
Anti-abortion activists confront a gathering of abortion-rights demonstrators outside of a Catholic church in downtown Manhattan on May 7, 2022 in New York City.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A pro-choice group known as “Ruth Sent Us,” a reference to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, initially posted a video of a group of women wearing costumes inspired by Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaids Tale” walking into what appears to be the front of a Catholic Church during Mass.
“For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has been an institution for the enslavement of women,” one of the protesters says in the video, which calls for protests between May 8 and May 14.
Abortion-rights activists gather outside of a Catholic church in downtown Manhattan to voice their support for a woman’s right to choose on May 7, 2022, in New York City.
(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
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Ruth Sent Us also threatened to burn the Eucharist in response to a Twitter user who offered to pray for them Saturday.
“Stuff your rosaries and your weaponized prayer,” the organization tweeted. “We will remain outraged after this weekend, so keep praying. We’ll be burning the Eucharist to show our disgust for the abuse Catholic Churches have condoned for centuries.”
Other activist groups including “Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights,” “Pro Choice with Heart,” “Strike for Choice” echoed the call from Ruth Sent Us, with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights calling for “actions outside of Churches” on Mother’s Day.
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St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and St. Peter’s Catholic Church, both of which are on Capitol Hill, reportedly requested increased police presence amid fears that protesters will attempt to disrupt Sunday morning Mass.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.