Archive for Thomas More Society

Censorship High School over Pro-life Speech

Posted in Censorship, Students for Life with tags , , , , , , , on February 19, 2014 by saynsumthn

Wilson High School has received a letter from the Thomas More Society a Chicago-based public interest law firm, demanding that the school end its discriminatory treatment of a pro-life student group. Wilson Students for Life (“WSFL”), an affiliate of Students for Life of America, was established in the Fall of 2013 by freshman Bryce Asberg to “loudly proclaim the pro-life message.” Since its founding, the group has faced constant hostility from the school’s administration, such as forbidding the group to hang its posters or host certain events, while other student groups have faced no similar restrictions. The school has until February 25th to respond to Thomas More Society’s demand to end its hostility towards Wilson Students for Life, which discrimination violates the federal Equal Access Act.

Asberg’s group selected two posters from the Students for Life of America website to promote its club. In compliance with school procedures, they asked the administration’s permission to hang these posters. The first read “Since Roe v. Wade 1/3 of our generation has been aborted” with a picture of a milk carton and the word “missing” above the photo of a baby. The second poster quotes President Ronald Reagan: “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion is already born.”

Missing

The administration refused to give WSFL permission to hang the posters. The administration stated that the school policy only allows posters that “do not offend staff or students, put others down if they have a different belief/opinion, or otherwise cause disruption.” WSFL’s posters, the administration maintained, would violate this policy because they promote a message rather than solely promoting the group’s meetings.

Despite this policy, however, the administration has permitted the Wilson Gay Straight Alliance (“GSA”) to hang flyers, for example, promoting homosexual relationships by showing conjoined male symbols and conjoined female symbols and stating “Love knows no limits.”

After the administration’s denial of WSFL’s posters, school administrators met with Asberg and the other WSFL leaders to “give them advice” on how to best run their club.
Ronald-Reagan-Quote-Already-Born

Asberg said he left the meeting feeling like his group was encouraged to only host events after school, while other groups were allowed to do what they wanted during the school day. For example, while GSA is permitted to hold a Day of Silence during the school day, the pro-life club was discouraged from doing so as their identical event would be “too controversial.”

“The Wilson High School administration cannot be allowed to trample on the constitutional rights of Wilson Students for Life,” said Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America. “Our pro-life students will not accept their right to free speech being taken away. Sadly, this case shows that viewpoint discrimination is alive and well in today’s schools and that administrators think they can still get away with it. Students for Life of America is proud to stand with Wilson Students for Life to demand that the Wilson High School administration reverse their unjust decision and give equal treatment to all students and student groups, regardless of their views on abortion.”

The federal Equal Access Act requires that schools give each student group the same opportunities, without discriminating against any group. In 2002, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that a Washington school which gave one group access to its bulletin boards must give that access to all student groups. Moreover, a number of Supreme Court decisions, such as Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Sch. Dist., have held that students’ speech cannot be silenced simply because the administration has vague fears of disruption.

“Wilson Students for Life is passionate about the pro-life movement,” stated Bryce Asberg, Founder of Wilson Students for Life, “and we will continue to stand for life in our community. We simply desire to be allowed to express our views.”

Read more http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/4875973675.html

‘Molotov cocktail’ hurled at pro-lifers for praying outside abortion clinic in Montana, formal complaint filed with the FBI

Posted in Abortion, pro-choice, pro-choice violence, Pro-Life with tags , , , , , , , on March 18, 2011 by saynsumthn

Bomb Thrown at Pro-Life Prayer Vigil: Thomas More Society Files Anti-Terrorism Complaint with FBI
Chief Legal Counsel Thomas Brejcha Decries ‘Ho-Hum’ Response from Kalispell, MT Police Officers
Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, tc@tcpr.net

MEDIA ADVISORY, March 18, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — The Thomas More Society, acting on behalf of 40 Days for Life, a national campaign that sponsors peaceable pro-life prayer vigils outside abortion provider sites world-wide, has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Field Office in Helena, Montana. The Thomas More Society is calling for an immediate, intensive investigation of a vicious fire-bombing attack on a pro-lifer that occurred March 17, 2011 at around 6:15 p.m. near the All Family Health Care abortion center in Kalispell, Montana.

Karen Trierweiler, coordinator of the 40 Days prayer vigils in Kalispell, said that a homemade incendiary device was thrown at one of the vigil participants, an elderly retired woman, by an assailant — as yet unidentified — as she walked on the public sidewalk near the abortion provider’s premises. The victim did not see the bomb-thrower, nor did she see the bomb — akin to a “Molotov cocktail” — before it exploded on the sidewalk behind her, making a loud popping noise like a big firecracker as it burst into flame. Apparently the victim was unhurt.

Regaining her composure, the victim called Ms. Trierweiler to the scene, and she called the police. After a lengthy delay, a Kalispell police officer arrived. But instead of inspecting the bomb debris or calling evidence technicians to the scene, the officer remarked that police could never get prints or other evidence from the bomb’s remains, and that he would call the city’s garbage service to dispose of all the debris. Then he said that the 40 Days prayer vigil participants should expect this kind of reaction if they’re out there protesting. Questioning Officer Hoover’s assessment of the attack, Ms. Trierweiler called the Kalispell desk sergeant to complain, where she was unable to get further assistance.

Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, said, “We are appalled by this terrible act of violence, while we’re immensely grateful that God’s grace spared this valiant pro-lifer any serious injury. But the reaction of Kalispell police officers after Ms. Trierweiler called them to the scene was equally appalling, indeed outrageous. We intend to file disciplinary complaints against both the officer who came to the crime scene and the desk sergeant whose tepid, indifferent, and grossly unprofessional response to this blatant act of domestic terrorism shows them both unfit to wear a police uniform and at best deserving of severe disciplinary action. We expect much better from the FBI and we will pursue the matter to the very highest levels of the U.S. Department of Justice if this case is not investigated promptly and vigorously and — once the assailant is identified and apprehended — prosecuted to the hilt,” Brejcha concluded.

Ms. Trierweiler also reported that an eyewitness has stepped forward, who was not part of the 40 Days campaign but rather a passerby, who saw the incident occur and who may be able to help the FBI track down the bomb thrower and bring him to justice.

Kalispell, Montana is a small town in the far northwestern part of the state that boasts an airport servicing jet air traffic as it is the western gateway to the famed Glacier National Park, which straddles the U.S.-Canadian border.

For more information or to speak with Mr. Brejcha, contact Tom Ciesielka 312-422-1333, tc@tcpr.net.

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that exists to restore respect for life in law. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends the sanctity of human life, the family and religious liberty in courtrooms across the country. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit http://www.thomasmoresociety.org.

Vindicated- charges dropped against pro-lifer who prayed at eugenic founded Planned Parenthood

Posted in Abortion, Church, free speech, Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life with tags , , , , , , , on August 4, 2010 by saynsumthn

CHICAGO, Aug. 3 /Christian Newswire/ — This afternoon, in a wake of national attention to the case, the Thomas More Society secured a dismissal of all charges against the first arrestee under the city’s “bubble zone” ordinance, which prevents certain types of picketing activity outside local abortion clinics. Joseph Holland, a Northwestern University graduate student, was arrested outside Planned Parenthood’s Near North Side facility on July 3 after the facility’s staff called the police and claimed he violated the ordinance by praying on the public sidewalk.

“We are pleased that the City of Chicago has dismissed these false and baseless charges against Joe Holland,” said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society executive director and legal counsel. “The First Amendment protects prayer on a public sidewalk in Chicago the same as in any other city in the country. We hope that the city will cease the suppression of pro-life speech under the ‘bubble zone’ ordinance and dismiss the lone remaining case, brought against David Avignone, who was arrested a few days after Joe.”

The “bubble zone” ordinance prohibits approaching within eight feet of a person without consent “for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling.” Witnesses and a video of the incident showed Holland standing stationary and praying, but not leafleting, picketing or sidewalk counseling.

Thomas More Society attorneys are also representing David Avignone, the second arrestee under the “bubble zone” ordinance, who was arrested the same week as Holland. Avignone’s first court appearance is August 30.

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that exists to restore respect for life in law. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends the sanctity of human life, the family and religious liberty in courtrooms across the country. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit http://www.thomasmoresociety.org.

Learn more about the eugenic and racist history of Planned Parenthood here