Charges Dismissed Against Man Who Challenged Patrick Kennedy on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 8, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Charges Dismissed Against Man Who Challenged Patrick Kennedy on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 8
, 2010

Providence, RI ( — A man who was charged for disorderly conducted after he publicly challenged pro-abortion Rep. Patrick Kennedy on abortion will face no charges for doing so. A pro-life legal group worked to ensure perennial local government candidate Christopher Young would not face punishment.

As reported, Young 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 said before police led him away from the forum.

Now, attorneys from the Chicago-based Thomas More Society inform that they won a victory in Providence municipal court this week when the city prosecutor decided to dismiss criminal charges.

Thomas More Society attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the charge of disorderly conduct, arguing that Young did not act in a disorderly fashion when he pressed Kennedy.

“This represents a victory for free speech, even when the view expressed gets an inhospitable reception. In this case, it was Young’s view that even a supposedly ‘unwanted’ infant is clothed with an inviolable dignity and endowed with an inalienable right to life,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society.

Brejcha continued, “Congressman Kennedy had opened the forum by arguing that all of us are ‘children of God’ who carry a ‘divine spark.’ Young was entirely within his rights under the First Amendment when he called Kennedy to task for supporting the mass demise of so many millions of unborn human beings – all of whom are no less bearers of a ‘divine spark’ and ‘children of God.’”

“The Congressman’s stubborn insistence that he remains a faithful Catholic, while advocating both for abortion on demand and the suppression of conscience rights, is nothing less than living a lie," he added.

The pro-life attorney also criticized Brown University, where the Kennedy event was held and which filed charges.

"Brown’s actions also belied its claim to be a place where ideas may be freely discussed – even the idea that human dignity is universally shared. We urge Brown to heed the message of Salman Rushdie, who lectured at Brown on the eve of Young’s last scheduled court date, urging that all speakers be given the right to speak, even those whose views some find ‘detestable,’" Brejcha said.

Related web sites:
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