Pro-Life Groups Gets Injunction To Pray Outside Jacksonville Clinic That Performs Abortions

A preliminary injunction has been granted to allow a pro-life group to pray outside of a doctor's office in Eastern Carolina that performs abortions.

The Thomas More Society says its attorneys and those for the city of Jacksonville agreed to a preliminary injunction that will allow prayer and demonstration to resume at the entrance to the clinic. The agreement, which will be in effect until the city amends its ordinances, was reached on the eve of a hearing on the matter before U.S. District Judge Terance W. Boyle.

Attorneys for the city and the Thomas More Society have pledged to collaboratively work towards an amicable resolution to the lawsuit.

"We are pleased the city of Jacksonville has agreed to allow the demonstrators to continue their ministry during the lawsuit. This is a big victory for the First Amendment rights of pro-life people everywhere," said Peter Breen executive director and legal counsel for the Thomas More Society. "We are hopeful for a successful resolution of this lawsuit that will protect First Amendment rights for the long term."

The dispute arose when lead plaintiff, Dr. Bartolo Spano, along with other local residents were forbidden from praying and picketing outside the front entrance of the Crist Clinic for Women.

The Thomas More Society's suit argues that the First Amendment protects these pro-life advocates' right to peacefully protest outside the Clinic.

According to the suit, city authorities had denied the plaintiffs a permit to demonstrate, citing "public safety concerns," including that vehicles may leave the roadway and strike the demonstrators. This city has conceded that its Parade and Public Assembly Ordinance will need to be amended.

You can read the entire injunction by clicking on the related link.


Anti-abortion protesters say Jacksonville's ordinance violates their free-speech rights by giving police too much leeway in deciding where and when demonstrations are permissible.

Police Chief Michael Yaniero said Thursday safety reasons dictated that demonstrators had to gather on sidewalks away from their desired spot in front of a women's clinic that performs abortions. He says the site is on a tight road curve and unsafe for picketing.

The federal court case filed this week alleges Jacksonville's public assembly ordinance unconstitutionally restricts free speech by requiring a police permit for protests that involve three or more people. The case filed on behalf of seven residents of Craven County and the Craven-Pamlico Christian Coalition complains the ordinance virtually ensures that public speech isn't possible free of government regulation.

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  • by Pepper Spray on Nov 22, 2011 at 02:10 AM
    It's the current fad.
  • by Truth on Nov 21, 2011 at 08:26 PM
    They should read their own handbook more often! "When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." (Matthew 6: 5-6)
    • reply
      by REM on Nov 22, 2011 at 04:15 AM in reply to Truth
      Nice spin, but taking words out of context destroys their meaning. What Jesus was talking about here is to not be a hypocrite by being a "showboat”. By this, he means don't pray in public in order to flaunt your status and draw attention to yourself. If you have a genuine concern about someone, and you pray a humble prayer (even in public) then that passage doesn't apply. What you advocate here is essentially for Christians to “keep to themselves” in public places (which is stupid considering the definition of public). I’d say that Christians are pretty much the only ones who are sticking up for the ones who don’t have a “choice” in the matter. I bet you are glad that your mother didn’t “abort” you right? It seems you are always the most dishonest on this forum, yet ironically, your name is "Truth". I really wish you would reconsider the way you treat others in your life; because using all of your years to scoff and hate will get you nowhere.
      • reply
        by Truth on Nov 22, 2011 at 02:29 PM in reply to REM
        I didn't spin it at all, merely posted the scripture, the spin is all yours. As always, it's up to the individual to interpret their own meaning from something like the bible. My interpretation here is that these protesters are indeed "showboating" their personal opinion on morality based on their religious belief. They could just as easily protest abortion without using prayers, bible, or religion. I don't treat others in life harshly either; I willingly support those in need on a daily basis - it's part of my career. I am against abortion as a form of birth control, but also think that if the public wants legislation to be passed to effect this, holding up pictures of aborted fetuses and antagonizing women with the threat of hell is the wrong way to go about it. It may be stereotyping, but you can't deny that this behavior is demonstrated often by the pro-life crowd.
        • reply
          by REM on Nov 23, 2011 at 03:59 AM in reply to Truth
          "protest abortion without using prayers, bible, or religion." -- based on what?! Everyone has a worldview, and what you are saying that people who don't share the exact same one as you should not be allowed to voice their opinions? I don't think so! I can agree that there are "some" who go about it the wrong way, but that makes it the exception and not the rule. Again, you will never change the fact that "abortion" is ending a life. There is no debate about that.
  • by Mike on Nov 21, 2011 at 06:17 PM
    This is awesome! I am not judging those who abort but PRAYER can help. Do not kill humanbeings.
  • by John Location: Simpson on Nov 21, 2011 at 04:55 PM
    We all know they won't just pray...they will try to intimidate any woman who wants to use the clinic. That judge should be ashamed.
    • reply
      by REM on Nov 22, 2011 at 04:01 AM in reply to John
      Seems like you have a time machine that can see into the future. Stereotype much?
  • by Anonymous on Nov 4, 2011 at 07:52 AM
    Now I want to know where all the liberals that support OWS and their right to protest are. Those same people should support these people as well, but you know they won't.
    • reply
      by Terri on Nov 21, 2011 at 05:49 PM in reply to
      They absolutely have a right to protest. They do not have the right to interfere with the woman's choice.
      • reply
        by REM on Nov 22, 2011 at 04:00 AM in reply to Terri
        The woman's choice of what? Murdering their child?
    • reply
      by OWS supporter on Nov 21, 2011 at 06:36 PM in reply to
      As long as they stay non-violent and don't impede on the business' day to day (ie: blocking the door) I will fully support their right to protest.
      • reply
        by Well on Nov 21, 2011 at 08:19 PM in reply to OWS supporter
        Well, I would love to see the OWS protesters non-violent, non-threatening and not obtrustive to those they come in contact with!! The probelem is that IS NOT the case!!
    • reply
      by DiNO on Nov 21, 2011 at 07:33 PM in reply to
      All citizens are entitled to assemble and protest. They also have the right to free speech, and if of age to vote. These are provided for by the constitution. They do not, however, have the right to impede anyone from doing what is provided for by the US Constitution, and like it or not, abortion is legal in this country. Since you brought it up, I agree with many of the complaints voiced by the OWS movement but I am disappointed by their lack of organization and clear voice. I likewise support many of the complaints voiced by the Tea Party, but their close allegiance to the extreme right wing of the Republican party and sponsorship by FOX News concerns me. But what concerns me more than either group is the lack of compassion and willingness to find a common ground with adversaries that seems to prevail in this country. Those qualities that made America great seem to have little value any more.
      • reply
        by Malcom on Nov 21, 2011 at 09:13 PM in reply to DiNO
        DiNO, I assume that your comments towards the Tea Party are merely narrow-minded talking points from the Main Stream Media. It is clear to me that you cannot speak for yourself. Also, common ground... The only common ground on this issue is the other side of the earth being common ground. You are dealing with fundamental differences between the rights of a defenseless life and the rights of a mother to kill her child. It is ironic how words get minced. Should we name this subject differently: PRODEATH (prochoice) and ANTICHOICE (PROLIFE)? To All: If you are prochoice, then choice to use various birth controls or choose to abstain from sex or choose to be responsible for your actions; choose to take care of your new baby.

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