Woman Fined $250 for Handing Out Pro-Life Brochures, She Fought in Court and Got The Ticket Dismissed

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 15, 2019   |   6:25PM   |   Birmingham, Alabama

An Alabama pro-life woman who received a ticket for handing out brochures won a victory in appeals court Friday.

Ellen Haverman Hermann received a $250 ticket for protesting without a permit in May 2017 outside of an abortion facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the AP reports.

On Friday, however, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled against her citation, saying she was exempt from the city ordinance about demonstrations, according to the report.

AL.com reports the citation occurred after someone claimed Hermann was stopping traffic outside the abortion facility. A police officer who arrived at the scene said the pro-life advocate was not stopping traffic, but he did cite her for violating a city ordinance that requires permits for public demonstrations.

Hermann appealed the citation, and the appeals court agreed that the citation was “unjustifiable” in a ruling Friday.

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Here’s more from the report:

Although Hermann did not have a permit, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with Hermann that it was unnecessary for her to obtain one because her purpose constituted a “minor event demonstration.” Such demonstrations are defined under the Tuscaloosa City Code as an event with fewer than 20 people that is at least 10 feet away from a major arterial road.

In the ruling, Judge Chris McCool said the city should not have prosecuted Hermann for handing out pro-life pamphlets.

“Thus, the city’s prosecution of Hermann’s distribution of pamphlets on the basis that she failed to obtain a permit is unjustifiable; the city cannot prosecute Hermann for violating the permit requirement … when the very ordinance that provides the permitting process expressly states that Hermann’s conduct did not require a permit,” McCool wrote.

“The city cannot punish Hermann for failing to obtain a permit for conduct the city has expressly provided does not require a permit. Accordingly, under the specific facts of this case, we reverse Hermann’s conviction and render a judgment in her favor,” the judge continued.

Sometimes, pro-life advocates are falsely accused of breaking the law by abortion activists who want to thwart their life-saving work. In 2018, police caught a Canadian abortion activist making a false assault claim against a pro-life advocate.

LifeNews Note: File photo.