To Cyntoia Brown-Long, it’s not just the unborn who need protection and respect, but also the marginalized and forgotten.
Since her much-publicized release in August from the Tennessee Prison for Women, where she had been serving a life sentence for killing a man who solicited her for sex at 16, Brown-Long has advocated for incarcerated people and publicly spoken about her spiritual journey behind bars.
She has appeared at The Riverside Church in Manhattan and at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville. She wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post highlighting young women who were victims of trafficking and serving time in jail. She also wrote a book, titled “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System.”
And on Saturday (Jan. 18), Brown-Long will be the keynote speaker at OneLife LA, an anti-abortion event hosted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It begins at 11 a.m. on Olvera Street with a youth march and ends with a festival and informational booths about foster care, human trafficking, immigration and homeless services. The gathering is described as a way to “celebrate the beauty and dignity of every human life from conception to natural death.”
Brown-Long, who was released from prison after she was granted clemency, said she found OneLife LA encouraging because it approaches the issue in a holistic way.
“A lot of pro-lifers, they’re concerned with respecting life in the early stages,” Brown-Long told Religion News Service.
She said it’s just as important to advocate for those who are homeless and victims of human trafficking.
OneLife LA began in 2015 when about 15,000 people gathered in downtown LA for the event. Now, the gathering attracts about 30,000 people, said Kathleen Domingo, head of the archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace.
Archbishop José H. Gomez, in a statement, described the event as a movement.
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Source: Religion News Service