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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Four charged in disruption of pro-life mass at downtown Columbus church

The mass was held on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the nation's landmark 1973 case securing the constitutional right to an abortion.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Four people have been charged after a group of protesters disrupted a pro-life mass at Saint Joseph's Cathedral in downtown Columbus in January.

The mass was held on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the nation's landmark 1973 case securing the constitutional right to an abortion.

Bishop Robert Brennan said the church was holding a Respect Life Mass.

In a live-streamed video on YouTube that has since been removed, a group of people can be heard coming into the church shouting and were seen carrying signs in support of allowing people to have abortions.

Columbus police said officers were called to the church and when they arrived, about 15 to 20 protesters were still there.

Jordyn Close, 24, Michelle Davis, 39, Anne Morrice, 35, and Mason Hickman 24 are facing misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

Morrice is facing an additional misdemeanor charge of criminal damage.

"I am deeply thankful to the Columbus Police, assisted by Diocesan staff, for the quick response without injury to anyone present. I want to express my great admiration and thanks to all those attending the Mass whose respectful and prayerful response reflects the joy, hope, and mercy that marks our pro-life witness," Brennan wrote in an e-mailed statement in January.

Church members moved to the Statehouse to hold a prayer service and protesters also gathered.