As I’ve said before, pro-life advocates are not only working to advance the rights of unborn children– we are also a major force in the expansion of American free speech rights. Here are two recent victories in that arena.
First, a federal judge has enjoined a New York City ordinance regulating the speech of pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics. Judge Pauley’s opinion eloquently argues that the law is a violation of our First Amendment rights. You can read more about the problems with the NYC law here and here.
Second, a group of pro-life teens who were unfairly arrested and strip-searched in 2008 have finally received justice:
Maryland state troopers handcuffed and arrested 18 pro-life advocates for sharing a peaceful pro-life message along a Bel Air, Maryland public street in August 2008. Among those arrested were three young women who were later shackled, strip-searched, and detained overnight by other police.
On Tuesday, Hon. Richard D. Bennett of the federal district court for the District of Maryland issued a 49-page opinion in a civil rights action filed by attorneys with the American Catholic Lawyers Association in 2009. The decision, following extensive motions for summary judgment by both plaintiffs and defendants, holds that the First and Fourth Amendment rights of the seven pro-life advocates who are the plaintiffs (as well as two pro-life advocates represented by the Alliance Defense Fund) were violated when the state troopers arrested and jailed them.