Highway Department responds to Thomas More Society letter, confirming
40 Days for Life participants’ free speech rights
(March 2, 2015 – Fayetteville, AR) – Today the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (the “Department”) has confirmed pro-lifers’ First Amendment right to hold signs, including along the State’s Highways, in response to Thomas More Society’s letter challenging the Department’s censorship of Fayetteville 40 Days for Life participants’ pro-life signs.
“The Department’s letter officially confirms what we already knew to be true: the First Amendment applies even next to a State Highway,” said Corrina Konczal, Thomas More Society Associate Counsel. “This amicable resolution ensures that the 40 Days for Life participants are able to hold signs informing passing drivers of their public stand for life without the fear of unjust criminal punishment.”
During the pro-lifers’ eighth peaceful prayer vigil outside the Fayetteville Planned Parenthood abortion facility along Highway 265, a Department employee told the pro-life volunteers that they could not display any signs—not even hand-held signs—during their vigil. The official threatened each participant with a fine between $25-$100 if they continued to hold any signs.
Thomas More Society’s letter, sent last week, challenged the censorship of the pro-lifers’ signs as a clear violation of the First Amendment. Fortunately, the Department’s prompt response confirms the pro-lifers’ right to hold signs “on a matter of public importance” during their vigil.
“Since last week, we have not been able to use signs informing people of why we are praying in front of the abortion clinic—a key part of 40 Days for Life,” said Sheena Archambault, 40 Days for Life Fayetteville coordinator. “Thank you to Thomas More Society for working with the Department to protect our rights.”
About the Thomas More Society
The Thomas More Society is a not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends and fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
Breakthrough pro-life laws approaching critical stage
In the past week we’ve seen overwhelming votes in state legislatures to: 1) ban abortions when an unborn baby is developed enough to feel pain; and 2) ban dismemberment abortions.
It’s tragic the Supreme Court won’t let us pass laws that protect the lives of every unborn baby. But that’s the reality in 2015. So we’re passing laws that will save lives now as we keep working hard to change the outlook of the Supreme Court.
Last week, the West Virginia Senate passed by a vote of 29-5 the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that bans elective abortions when an unborn baby reaches the stage that a preponderance of evidence demonstrates she can feel pain. West Virginia’s House previously voted 87-12 for the bill!
This bill, created by National Right to Life to save babies we believe the Supreme Court will allow us to protect, has now passed in the legislature in 12 states; tragically, Democratic governors in two states – West Virginia last year and Minnesota in 2011 – vetoed the bill, allowing pain-capable little babies to still suffer horribly and be killed by abortion in those states.
Last year, the West Virginia legislature ran out of time to override the governor’s veto before the legislative session ended. But this year, with new leadership in the state Senate, they’ve passed the bill early enough in the session to bring up an override vote and West Virginia is soon expected to be the 11th state to enact this life-saving bill!
Several other states are considering similar protection for the unborn. South Carolina’s House has already passed the bill by an overwhelming vote of 80-27, and Right to Lifers there are working to win in the Senate. Other states are taking up the bill, as well.
While those important fights for unborn lives are occurring, at least three states are advancing another breakthrough law: the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Ban.
Dismemberment abortions are a brutal method in which an abortionist uses a forceps or similar instrument to clasp an unborn baby in the womb and then kill him by twisting and tearing off limbs and other body parts until the baby bleeds to death. Bills now advancing in Oklahoma, where it overwhelmingly passed the House 84-2, and in Kansas, where it passed the Senate, 31-9, would ban this barbarity. The bill has also been introduced in Missouri, where it is expected to get strong support.
We want more states to take up these breakthrough pro-life laws! Please share this email about these laws with your friends, family, and associates of all kinds. Even people who think of themselves as “pro-choice” find these horrible abortions that dismember or inflict pain to be repulsive.
Every citizen needs to know this is happening in America in 2015.
It’s also very important to talk with your elected officials and ask them to support legislation that will actually protect unborn babies right now – that is, bills we believe the courts will uphold – and ban abortions when the baby is developed enough to feel pain, and ban dismemberment abortions.
Finally, please know that National Right to Life is the driving force behind the education and lobbying to pass these laws. That education and grassroots citizen lobbying work takes money – in other words, your generous support can help us pass these humane and needed laws in more states.
In addition to passing laws, your financial support can help us with the badly needed process of educating millions of Americans that such abortions are occurring, that unborn babies are not a “blob of cells” as abortion advocates try to deceive us into believing.
The public needs us to share the truth with them: that these are well-developed babies with arms and legs, heads and torsos, that an abortionist callously tears off until the baby dies, his or her remains discarded like so much garbage.
Please help with a generous gift today to stop this carnage. Because stop it we must.
National Right to Life President
|P.S. The pro-abortion group NARAL held several poorly attended “Stop The Bans” events across the country last week to protest our Pain-Capable and Dismemberment Abortion bans. We’ve got them on the run! Help us pass more of these humane laws with a generous gift today!|
|Because we work to pass laws to save unborn lives, donations to the National Right to Life Committee are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.|
National Right to Life, 512 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
By Maria Vitale Gallagher
The Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act states that the public policy of the Commonwealth is to encourage childbirth over abortion.
Then why does the state of Pennsylvania link to a website that promotes abortion?
If you visit the information page on the PA government website, you’ll find a tab labeled “Health and Wellness.” Clicking there will bring up a number of options, including “Women’s Health.”
But if you click Women’s Health, you end up at the Women’s Law Project – an organization that opposes laws restricting abortion. In fact, the top item on the page’s resource list is “abortion and family planning.” Click on that, and you’ll be directed to a page that connects you with abortion facilities.
In this way, PA government has become an electronic portal to abortion.
Why doesn’t the Pennsylvania website link to a neutral site, one which disseminates information about women’s health topics such as heart disease and cervical cancer? Why, instead, does it link to a pro-abortion advocacy group?
The Governor should not use his office to promote a pro-abortion agenda. If he is truly concerned about women’s health, he will direct state workers to retool his website.
By Cheryl Sullenger
Detroit, MI – After shutting down his problem-plagued Cleveland, Ohio, abortion facility in 2013, due to his inability to comply with clinic licensing standards, abortionist Martin Ruddock now finds himself in trouble in Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has filed two disciplinary petitions against Ruddock for administering low-dose sedation consisting of controlled substances without a valid dispensing license from the Drug Enforcement Agency.
“Ruddock seems incapable of complying with the laws of any state. We urge the Michigan medical licensing authorities to strip him of his license before he seriously injures or kills anyone else,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, referring to past abortion injuries inflicted by Ruddock that Operation Rescue has documented.