Thursday, December 24, 2015

Suit Challenges Maine's Restriction On Loud Preaching Outside of Abortion Clinic

In Portland, Maine this week, a Christian pastor filed suit in federal district court challenging the constitutionality of a Maine statute designed to protect abortion facilities.  The law essentially prohibits demonstrating outside an abortion clinic with noise loud enough to be heard inside.  The complaint (full text) in March v. Mills, (D ME, filed 12/21/2015), contends that the statute violates plaintiff's 1st and 14th Amendment rights by targeting his religious, Christian, Pro-Life messages. He alleges in part:
Plaintiff considers it his vocation to encourage women to avoid the sin of abortion and to help them repent from their previous sins.... Plaintiff preaches outside of the abortion facility in order to better reach these women and to give women a last-chance alternative to their life-ending decision.
The suit claims that the restriction on his speech is a content-based prior restraint.  Thomas More Law Center issued a press release announcing the filing of the suit.