The march for life is picking up steam, and recent court cases are paving the way.
But Pro-Life activists and some Pro-Life groups are fighting back.
And now a federal court just ruled in favor of Students for Life in this important free speech case, and the Left is furious.
“It is antithetical to a free society for the government to give one side of a debatable public question an advantage in expressing its views to the people . . . The government may not play favorites in a public forum—permitting some messages and prohibiting others.”
That is a quote from a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Arrested for writing on a sidewalk with chalk
In the summer of 2020, thousands of often violent protesters stormed the streets of Washington, D.C., to proclaim “Black Lives Matter.”
Over several weeks of sometimes destructive and violent protests, the protesters covered streets, sidewalks, and storefronts with paint.
This action was a clear and open violation of Washington, D.C.’s defacement ordinance, yet not one of the left-wing protesters was arrested.
But during the same summer, District police officers arrested two Pro-Life students in a much smaller and totally peaceful protest.
Writing in sidewalk chalk the phrase “Black Pre-born Lives Matter” on a public sidewalk.
But now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled unanimously in favor of the Pro-Life activists.
The court said in its ruling, “The First Amendment prohibits discrimination on the basis of viewpoint irrespective of the government’s motive. We hold that the Foundation has plausibly alleged that the District discriminated on the basis of viewpoint in the selective enforcement of its defacement ordinance. We, therefore, reverse the dismissal of the Foundation’s First Amendment claim and remand for further proceedings.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) who, which represented Students for Life of America and the Frederick Douglass Foundation in the case, said the decision was “a major free speech ruling” as the “U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the First Amendment rights of two Pro-Life organizations that sought to chalk a Pro-Life message on a city sidewalk.”
“We will keep fighting for the rights of our students to stand up for the pre-born and their mothers”
SFLA President Kristan Hawkins said, “It’s very encouraging that there was a unanimous 3-0 decision in favor of the free speech rights of Pro-Life students peacefully protesting in our nation’s capital. Viewpoint discrimination is un-American, and as the case proceeds, we look forward to learning more about how D.C. officials picked winners and losers in their enforcement. Free speech rights you’re afraid to use don’t really exist, and we will keep fighting for the rights of our students to stand up for the preborn and their mothers and against the predatory abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood.”
And ADF Senior Counsel Erin Hawley said, “Washington officials can’t censor messages they disagree with. The right to free speech is for everyone, and we’re pleased the D.C. Circuit agreed that the Frederick Douglass Foundation and Students for Life should be able to exercise their constitutionally protected freedom to peacefully share their views the same as anyone else. Every American deserves for their voice to be heard as they engage in important cultural and political issues of the day.”
Students for Life of America has led several aggressive campaigns to confront the massive loss of life among minority communities from abortions at Planned Parenthood locations, purposefully located in minority areas.
In this case, the protest took place in Washington, D.C. in front of Planned Parenthood.
It is unknown if the District of Columbia will appeal the unanimous ruling for free speech rights.
Pro-Life Press will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.