HUNTSVILLE, January 16, 2013 ( – An elderly woman was handcuffed and charged with misdemeanor harassment after spraying holy water outside a Huntsville abortion facility.

Joyce Fecteau, who is in her seventies, was arrested after pro-abortion counter protestors complained after coming into contact with holy water from the spray bottle she was carrying.

Pro-abortion demonstrator Lisa Cox accused Fecteau of spraying her in the face with an “unknown substance.” She claims the incident occurred December 22 on the sidewalk outside the “Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives” abortion clinic.

As a result of Cox’s allegations, Fecteau was arrested outside the same clinic January 9 and charged with misdemeanor harassment. Video of the arrest shows the elderly Fecteau being escorted away from the abortion center by a Huntsville police officer as she continues to pray.

Fecteau told Alabama Live on Monday that the “unknown substance” was holy water that she keeps in a spray bottle. She said she squirted it into the air because a pro-abortion demonstrator was burning a “noxious material” nearby.

“I had been told repeatedly by my health care provider not to breathe in that smoke because it’s making me sick,” said Fecteau. “I can't tell if [the holy water] drifted on this lady's face.”

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Pamela Watters, organizer of the pro-abortion group, said she thinks Fecteau purposely sprayed Cox and her fellow demonstrators.

“It was not labeled holy water,” Watters told Alabama Live. “My people didn't know what was in that bottle. It could have been ammonia, it could have been bleach.”

Watters said the “noxious material” mentioned by Fecteau was a “smudge stick” – a bundle of sage and other dried herbs frequently used in New Age, Pagan and Shamanist rituals. She said her group tries to make sure women get inside the abortion center “with as little harassment as possible.”

“Every woman that goes in there is not going in for an abortion,” Watters claimed. “Even if they are, that's a legal procedure in this country.”

Rev. James Henderson, executive director of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, condemned Fecteau's arrest and called on Christians to protest.

“Shame on those who would arrest a Christian woman for sprinkling Holy Water on the public sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic,” he wrote in an email to supporters. 

“All Christians nationwide need to stand together in support of this lady and her husband in opposition to this travesty.”

Henderson hopes to rally at least 1,000 Christians for a peaceful demonstration at her trial, which is scheduled for February 21 in Huntsville municipal court.

For more information, or to join the protest on February 21, contact Rev. Henderson:
Phone: (256) 337-0826
E-mail: [email protected]