from Life Legal Defense Foundation
In a unexpected turn of events last week, the City of Jackson settled all claims brought by Pro-Life Mississippi and other pro-life advocates. A lawsuit brought by Life Legal Defense Foundation in 2014 alleged that the City repeatedly and persistently violated the constitutional rights of peaceful sidewalk counselors outside Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. The City has agreed that the paved sidewalk and the grassy area adjacent to the clinic are public right of way and are open to free speech activity. Among other specific directives, the City will allow the Plaintiffs to rest their signs on the public sidewalk and sit in chairs while exercising their free speech rights, so long as they leave room for passersby.
“We are pleased that the City has finally agreed to follow well-established legal precedent in this area of First Amendment rights,” said Allison K. Aranda, Senior Staff Counsel with the Life Legal Defense Foundation. Ms. Aranda continued, “Our clients have been repeatedly harassed and unlawfully arrested for years by the Jackson Police Department and it was time for the City to own up to its illegality.” The Jackson Police Department’s conduct towards Pro-Life Mississippi has been so egregious that the City agreed to a mandatory training program to educate officers about First Amendment rights.
The mission of Life Legal is to give innocent and helpless human beings of any age, particularly unborn children, a trained and committed defense against the threat of death, and to support their advocates in the nation’s courtrooms. For more information, or to make a donation, please use this link.