The Family Foundation of Virginia announced today that Virginia Beach officials have dropped charges against Cheri Britt, Director of Hope 4 Life , who in April was given a criminal citation by Virginia Beach police officers while standing on a public sidewalk outside a Planned Parenthood abortion center.
The Family Foundation through its newly formed litigation arm, the Founding Freedoms Law Center, joined the National Legal Foundation to defend Britt.
“We are thrilled that Virginia Beach officials have dropped the baseless charges brought against Cheri,” said Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation. “Cheri was simply exercising her right to free speech and providing new mothers with free ultrasound and diapers, while practicing social-distancing, when she was issued a summons to appear in court. It’s good to see that some government officials recognize that the Constitution still applies during a pandemic.”
Britt was given a criminal citation by police officers while standing on a public sidewalk near her mobile ultrasound RV—where she offers women free ultrasounds and baby supplies – just as she has most days for years. Under Virginia law, an ultrasound is required to be performed prior to an abortion procedure.
Law enforcement officials claimed at the time that Britt was in violation of Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 55, including so-called “stay-at-home” orders, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fewer than 10 people were gathered together at the time outside with Cheri.
Planned Parenthood called the police to have Britt removed. Numerous officers drove by, while several others just watched her from their parked police vehicles. Two officers came to threaten her with a citation and demanded that she leave. When they came back a few hours later, they wrote her a summons to appear in court.