Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz called on President Barack Obama to speak up for a Sudanese woman who's been sentenced to death because she won't renounce her Christian faith.
"We need to speak out against these atrocities," the Texas Republican said Thursday. "We need the president of the United States to say in no uncertain terms, 'Send Meriam home'."
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, gave birth to a baby girl in a Khartoum prison last month, two weeks after she was sentenced to 100 lashes and to die by hanging.
Her husband is a U.S. citizen, and her two children, including the newborn, live with her in prison. A Sudanese lawyer has filed an appeal to reverse the verdict by a lower court.
Cruz, a potential presidential candidate who's known for speaking out for Christians imprisoned in other countries, made his remarks Thursday at a social conservative gathering hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington.
Obama's national security council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden issued a statement last month when Ibrahim was sentenced.
"We strongly condemn this sentence and urge the Government of Sudan to meet its obligations under international human rights law," she said.
Cruz joined a demonstration outside the White House last week to raise awareness about Ibrahim.
He did the same in 2013 for Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor who's serving time in Iran for sharing his faith. Obama spoke publicly about Abedini at a national prayer breakfast earlier this year.