The Battle Continues: Defending Life In U.S. Courts

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This week, as millions across the nation pause to consider the ongoing implications of what some have called “41 years of Woe,” Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies continue our efforts at every level of government and the courts to preserve and strengthen protections for the sanctity of life in the womb. A quick survey of recent developments:

  • On January 15, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of McCullen v. Coakley, which challenges a Massachusetts law designed to keep pro-life advocates at such a distance from mothers entering an abortion business that they cannot effectively counsel or communicate with them. Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorneys Mark Rienzi, Philip Moran, Michael De Primo are representing Eleanor McCullen and other pro-lifers who want only to peaceably offer information and assistance to women still struggling over whether to go through with an abortion.

“Peaceful pro-life citizens should be able to freely share messages of life and viable options to mothers in vital need without having to shout from outside a ‘First- Amendment-free zone,’” says Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “Massachusetts has no constitutional basis for creating speech-restricted zones because it wants to inhibit a message to which it is politically opposed.” Please pray for victory in this case.

  • On January 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirmed most of a district court’s order striking down a New York City anti-pregnancy center ordinance. The law threatens pro-life pregnancy services centers with heavy fines and possible closure if they don’t provide printed and oral notices (crafted by the city) that encourage women to seek treatment elsewhere … “elsewhere” usually being a facility that offers and even promotes abortions.

“The court rightly affirmed that the city cannot force pregnancy centers to communicate messages that encourage women to go elsewhere,” says Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, who argued the case, “but the court left one provision in place that still does that, so we are considering our options for appeal.” (Allied attorney M. Todd Parker is serving ably as local counsel in this case.)

  • On January 13, the Supreme Court let stand a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in a case that struck down an Arizona law restricting late-term abortions. This, despite growing medical evidence that, by 20 weeks in the womb, babies feel pain, and women undergoing abortion risk considerable physical and psychological trauma.

“Every innocent life deserves to be protected,” says Aden, one of our attorneys serving with the Arizona Attorney General as co-counsel in the case. “New medical knowledge about the pain children can experience in the womb and the potential harms to women shouldn’t be ignored in any civilized society.”

And so it goes, in case after case across the nation: the ceaseless effort and unswerving commitment of our attorneys, our allies, and many others to protect life – and to challenge every legal effort to foster the killing of children in the womb.  For the sake of the nation your children and grandchildren will inherit, stand with us as we continue to pray and work tirelessly to secure their heritage: a reverence for life and the God Who gives it.

Author: Alan Sears