By Calvin Freiburger
The pro-life Thomas More Society is calling on the police department of Hollywood, Florida, to rescind an order barring pro-lifers from the public sidewalk outside A Woman’s Center of Hollywood abortion facility.
This is the third year pro-lifers have conducted 40 Days for Life vigils outside A Woman’s Center without incident. But last week, Officer Del Castillo approached pro-lifers conducting a prayer vigil on the first day of the Spring 40 Days for Life and told them they could not stand on the public sidewalk, citing the abortion facility’s wishes, and threatened that they could be ticketed for refusing to leave.
“Forbidding pro-lifers from standing on public property violates 75 years of clear Supreme Court precedent that gives broad protections to those engaging in free speech in public places,” Thomas More Associate Counsel Corrina Konczal explained. “We are confident that, once the City and Chief of Police are made aware of this officer’s unconstitutional ban, that they will reverse this order and assure our clients of their rights to publicly pray and hold signs on any sidewalk in the City.”
Thomas More has sent a letter to the police department calling on them to acknowledge that the order was a “clearly unconstitutional restriction of our clients’ freedom of speech in a traditional public forum – a public sidewalk.” They request a reply by Friday, February 19.