Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was arrested last week after she acknowledged that she “might be praying in my head” outside a Birmingham, England abortion mill. A local ordinance prohibits “anti-social behavior,” which is defined as engaging in any act of approval or disapproval with respect to abortion services – including prayer.
But such egregious suppression of free speech would never happen in this country, right? After all, we have the First Amendment.
While our heroic pro-life clients haven’t been arrested for merely standing outside abortion clinics, they have been silenced in other ways – some more sinister than arrest.
Take Ross Foti, for example. Ross was exercising his constitutional right to pray on the public sidewalk outside Planned Parenthood in Northern California when a woman entering the facility viciously shoved him into a fire hydrant. Ross was hospitalized with a punctured lung and other serious injuries.
The attacker was not even taken into custody, despite the pleas of onlookers.
Evidently, the officers on the scene thought Ross got what he deserved for daring to speak out against the merciless slaughter of innocent children.
Our attorneys are in contact with local law enforcement to ensure that Ross’ attacker is prosecuted at a level commensurate with her crime. Life Legal is committed to pursuing all legal options to obtain justice for Ross.
Or take Mark Godbold, who often prayed outside Jackson Women’s Health Organization’s (JWHO) abortion facility, known as the “pink house.” You MAY be familiar with JWHO, as its bloodthirsty abortionists sued to challenge Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court as Dobbs v. JWHO in which the Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Last October, Mark participated in a prayer vigil outside the abortion mill. JWHO’s deathscort, Kim Gibson, couldn’t handle the idea of people interceding for the lives of babies about to be ripped limb from limb inside the pink house. She got in her car, started driving erratically, and blared her horn to drown out the appeals to heaven. When Mark walked over to her vehicle and asked her to stop, Gibson intentionally veered into him, knocking Mark to the ground and pinning him under the wheel of her car. Mark suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg, that kept him from the abortion mill for a time.
Again, local law enforcement declined to file charges. But we were not about to let them silence Mark’s pro-life witness. Life Legal affiliate attorneys filed a civil lawsuit against Gibson, the abortionist, and JWHO for perpetrating this heinous, unprovoked attack against Mark.
Or take Life Legal’s own Mary Riley. Mary co-founded Life Legal and serves as our Chief Financial Officer. She prays daily outside Planned Parenthood in Napa, California – and has endured untold offenses as a result.
Mary and the Napa prayer team have been shot at with pellet guns, had cans and other debris thrown at them, were spit on during the height of COVID, and had Planned Parenthood deathscorts intentionally block their conversations with women entering the mill.
When they were hit with pellet guns on two separate incidents, law enforcement responded by saying the pro-lifers “should not be out here.” Just as in the UK, Napa does not permit talking – or even praying silently – about abortion.
Until our attorneys got involved, the city refused to investigate the shootings. In addition to providing prosecutors with evidence of the pellet gun attacks which resulted in detectives finally opening an investigation, Life Legal is suing Planned Parenthood for suppressing pro-life speech outside the abortion mill.
These are just three of countless examples of the vital need for experienced pro-life lawyers to fight for justice –for the innocent targets of abortionists and for those who stand in the gap against the abortion holocaust.