Pro-life Pastor Defiant

A pro-life pastor facing prison time for offering sidewalk counseling at an abortion clinic in Oakland, California, returned to the same sidewalk on Tuesday, praying with a handful of others for God to change the hearts and minds of women seeking abortions.

"I am fully aware that this may be my last opportunity to do all I can to save my people," said Walter B. Hoye, a minister from Berkley, California, who founded the Issues4Life Foundation.

Hoye was given 30 days in jail, a $1,130 fine and 3 years probation at his sentencing last Thursday, which included a "stay away order" from the abortion clinic he was convicted in January of unlawfully approaching.

Because Hoye refused to agree to the stay away order, a technical legality forced his sentencing to be re-scheduled for March 20 and he remains free until then.

Prior to his arrest and conviction, Hoye launched a federal civil lawsuit last year challenging the constitutionality of the Oakland city ordinance later used to arrest him. The law bars picketers from coming within eight feet of women entering an abortion clinic.

Hoye, whose organization is a member of the National Black Pro-Life Union, is known for standing outside the Oakland abortion clinic offering leaflets and counseling to women.

"This morning may be the last morning I will have a chance to stop the shedding of innocent blood in the African-American community," Hoye said yesterday before heading out to the clinic near Jack London Square with his trademark sign that says, "God loves you and your baby.  Let us help you."

"We are asking God," he said, "to use us [today] to reach the men and women going into the abortion clinic with the love of Jesus Christ. This hour may be the last hour available to me to reach out to the men and women with child considering pre-natal murder."

Hoye said late last night that after arriving at the abortion clinic, Oakland police showed up and indicated they would arrest him. He decided to leave peacefully.

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