Friday, May 28, 2021

Seattle Suburb Reverses Ban on Abortion Protesters

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Everett, a suburb of Seattle, Washington recently cracked down on pro-life protesters telling them they could no longer protest at the Planned Parenthood clinic in the city.

At the same time, Everett city officials were embracing mass gatherings for left-wing protesters associated with Black Lives Matter and Antifa groups.

Why do BLM and Antifa have constitutional rights, but the pro-life people do not?

I'm not the only one asking.

Be informed, not misled.

Everett is a city of about 100,000 people about 25 miles north of Seattle.

City leaders have celebrated and embraced the protests of Black Lives Matter and Antifa over the last year or so.

Freedom of speech. First Amendment rights.

But when people of faith who believe in the sanctity of life---in that life was created by God Himself, came to the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic to protest killing unwanted, unborn children, "freedom of speech" and "First Amendment rights" evaporated.

The city issued a ban on sidewalk protests in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic after a confrontation between pro-abortion and pro-life protesters.

The pro-life group and their lawyers argued that the city gave preferential treatment to the pro-abortion demonstrators by forcing pro-life advocates to move further away from the abortion clinic.

Everett's deputy city attorney said no, "the city implemented reasonable crowd control measures to protect public safety after protesters from pro-life and pro-choice groups had a physical altercation."

Why doesn't the city feel it's necessary to "implement reasonable crowd control" when  BLM and Antifa are marching, breaking, looting, and burning?

The reversal.

The reversal of the need to "implement reasonable crowd control" came only after the Thomas More Society, a religious liberty law firm, threatened to take legal action on the First Amendment rights of pro-life sidewalk counselors.

Thomas More's Matt Heffron said, "In the end, the city did the right thing. It just takes some legal pressure at times."

The city sees it differently. They explain, "After no additional events arose for over a month, the City elected to remove restrictions."

Oh, the arrogance.

The City probably also read the "tea leaves," as they say.

By walking back the ban, the City of Everett avoided a court battle that they very well may have lost.

In 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down, on free speech grounds, a Massachusetts law that created a 35-foot exclusionary zone outside of an abortion clinic.

Thomas More Society attorneys also represented that case and say Everrett police officers for the city had disproportionately enforced the ordinance. The police had moved the pro-life demonstrators far down the street while allowing a pro-abortion crowd to gather directly across from the clinic.

They said in a letter on May 11, "Banishing the pro-life side to the far corners of the street while allowing the pro-abortion protesters to remain near the clinic is strong evidence of viewpoint discrimination that renders this buffer zone all the more obviously unconstitutional."

Spokane, Washington had a different outcome over a similar issue.

Last year, a Planned Parenthood operation brought their grievances with pro-life protesters to the State, claiming their actions are not protected by the First Amendment. The State Superior Court judge ruled on the side of Planned Parenthood and granted a preliminary injunction against the pro-life group.

Among other claims, Planned Parenthood said that the demonstrators were creating an environment that could leave a negative impact on their patients as they experienced an increased risk of hypertension, increased pain, and a variety of psychiatric symptoms.

PP also claimed the pro-life people were interfering with "the normal functioning of the facility."

I suspect the "normal" functioning would be to tell the patients they are not hurting anyone, but merely removing a fetal mass from their body that began to grow at an inconvenient time.  

Science says otherwise.

The following are 3 great websites if you have any questions about abortion:

What the Bible says:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. And before you were born I consecrated you" (Jeremiah 1:5).

"Behold children are a gift of the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. So are the children of one's youth. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth" (Psalm 127: 3-4).

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.