New York Attorney General Wants to Shut Down Pro-Life Free Speech Outside Abortion Clinics

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 23, 2017   |   11:13AM   |   Albany, NY

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against pro-life advocates this week that could cut off their freedom of speech.

The lawsuit involves pro-lifers who stand outside the Choices Women’s Medical Center, an abortion clinic in Jamaica, Queens.

Townhall reports Schneiderman wants to “limit” physical contact between patients and the pro-life advocates. He claimed pro-lifers who stand outside the clinic have harassed people by shouting death threats, calling women murderers and pinning abortion clinic escorts against a wall, according to the report. In the lawsuit, Schneiderman also accused pro-lifers of giving women pictures of “mangled fetuses” and trying to block the abortion clinic’s doors.

But a legal group representing pro-lifers in the lawsuit said they are defending their clients’ rights to peacefully and compassionately offer women information about alternatives to abortion.

Thomas More Society is representing pro-life advocates affiliated with the Church at the Rock, a non-denominational Christian church in Brooklyn, New York.

Andrew Bath, general counsel at Thomas More Society, said: “Members of the Church at the Rock peacefully counsel women who are considering having an abortion. They conduct themselves reasonably and compassionately, and offer information about abortion alternatives to those willing to listen.”

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Here’s more from Townhall’s Anna Timmis:

Schneiderman’s “office is seeking civil penalties and damages” against 14 people who committed these acts, allegedly violating laws, the Wall Street Journal wrote.

If the protestors in New York acted the way Schneiderman claimed, they are harming their cause —one that supports life and the dignity of every human, including the women who seek abortions.

“We are standing up against violence,” Schneiderman said in a twitter video. Pro-life supporters also claim to stand against violence. They shouldn’t commit violence and have a responsibility to communicate the opposite message through how they offer help to women considering abortion.

Bath described Schneiderman’s claims as “meritless,” and emphasized that they are defending pro-lifers rights to peacefully protest abortion and educate women about their unborn babies.

“The New York Attorney General’s suit seeks to deny our clients their fundamental First Amendment rights and is without factual or legal basis,” Bath said in a statement. “We will vigorously defend our clients’ right to continue to peacefully deliver a pro-life message to abortion-minded women on the public sidewalk, and will seek dismissal of the State of New York’s meritless attempt to deny our clients the rights guaranteed them by our Constitution.”