Photo by Tessa Rampersad from Unsplash

A win for life is a win. 

Pro-lifers in Minneapolis are celebrating a recent victory.

They’re fighting for the right to minister in front of abortion clinics, and their case, based on free speech, will be allowed to continue on. 

In a significant victory for pro-life protesters and free speech advocates, a federal judge in Minneapolis has given the green light to a First Amendment challenge against the city’s controversial 2022 “abortion bubble” ordinance. 

The ruling, handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Eric C. Tostrud on October 30, marked a partial win for the Christian nonprofit Pro-Life Action Ministries, enabling their legal challenge to proceed.

Pro-Life Action Ministries, dedicated to offering compassionate “sidewalk counseling” to women outside abortion clinics, contested the vague language in Minneapolis’ ordinance. 

The judge, while rejecting the claim that the words “physical” and “disrupt” were overly ambiguous, allowed the lawsuit to continue on free-speech grounds. 

The ordinance, implemented in November 2022, restricts pro-life advocates from entering even the public sidewalk portion of the parking lot entrance of Planned Parenthood’s Minneapolis clinic, hindering their peaceful interactions with women seeking abortions.

Erick Kaardal, lawyer for the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm that filed the lawsuit, criticized the ordinance as an unconstitutional restriction designed to silence pro-life speech. 

He highlighted the peaceful nature of sidewalk counseling, emphasizing that the city’s actions were unwarranted and oppressive.

This legal battle reflects a growing trend across the United States, with pro-life sidewalk activities becoming a hot topic in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. 

This landmark ruling overturned previous jurisprudence, challenging the constitutional status of abortion established by Roe v. Wade in 1973.

In a similar legal struggle, the Thomas More Society has also fought against a restrictive law in Illinois. 

This law sought to impose heavy fines of up to $50,000 on pregnancy resource centers for what it deemed “deceptive business practices.” 

The law, known as the Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act, faced opposition from the Thomas More Society, which secured a preliminary injunction in August. 

This legal victory protected the speech rights of pregnancy resource centers, allowing them to continue their vital work without fear of exorbitant fines.

Moreover, in Vermont, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit challenging a law that restricts advertising by pregnancy resource centers and bars non-licensed health care professionals from working there.

This legal battle, akin to others across the nation, highlights the ongoing struggle faced by pro-life organizations against laws that curtail their constitutional rights.

In the face of these challenges, pro-life advocates and their legal allies remain steadfast, defending their right to free speech and their mission to provide support and alternatives to women in crisis. 

As the legal battleground continues to evolve, these victories encourage advocates to persist in their fight for the sanctity of life and the preservation of their constitutional liberties.

Pro-Life Press will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.