Attorneys Want No Charges For Man Who Challenged Patrick Kennedy on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
February 16, 2010
Providence, RI (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life legal group is working to make it so a man who publicly challenged pro-abortion Rep. Patrick Kennedy on abortion will face no charges for doing so. The case involves a perennial local government candidate Christopher Young, who accused Kennedy of supporting a health care bill that would fund abortions.
At the December 1 forum, Kennedy made his first public appearance after he came under fire from his bishop for questioning the pro-life credentials of the Catholic Church.
He also had disclosed a private letter he had received in 2007 urging him not to receive communion.
Young attempted to give Kennedy a pro-life DVD to watch, but was escorted from the event by police when he tried to do so.
You’re not Catholic if you force Catholics into funding abortion, he before police led him away from the forum.
Kennedy never responded to Young’s comments because a student grabbed the microphone to ask another health care question and the event continued on without incident.
Now, attorneys from the Chicago-based Thomas More Society are appearing in Providence municipal court tomorrow for a hearing on their motion to dismiss disorderly conduct charges against Young.
The pro-life attorneys argue that Young was not "disorderly" but rather was exercising his First Amendment rights when he questioned Kennedy about his support for abortion.
The video Young attempted to give Kennedy was Maafa 21, a documentary on the history of abortion aimed at African-Americans that charges Planned Parenthood and other abortion practitioners with "black genocide."
Young’s questions were blunt and spirited but wholly peaceable, falling far short of "fighting words" or threats that might have exceeded the bounds of constitutionally protected speech, TMS told LifeNews.com today.
"This event was open to the public and widely advertised as an open forum, that is, an opportunity for the very sort of robust, wide-open debate on critical issues to which our nation cherishes such a profound commitment," Tom Brejcha, the Society’s president and chief counsel said.
He added that Young was wholly within his rights in putting tough questions to Kennedy, who never answered but sat smugly and watched while his questioner was muzzled, handcuffed and hauled off to jail."
"Kennedy had argued that every person has a divine spark that entitles him or her to health care, and this provoked questions from Young, also a Catholic, as to how Kennedy could advocate health care laws suppressing conscience rights of Catholics and others who deem it abhorrent that the divine spark is snuffed out in so many infants before they even see the light of day," Brejcha added.
He concluded: "How sad it is to reflect that the younger Congressman’s late father, patriarch of the Kennedy family for so many years, was once outspokenly pro- life, and that the family has strayed so far."
The hearing to dismiss charges will take place tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.
Related web sites:
Thomas More Society – https://www.thomasmoresociety.org
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