In the past, when pro-lifers engaged in protected First Amendment activity, like preaching the Gospel or holding pro-life signs or signing worship songs, on the public sidewalk right outside of the waiting room of the Capital Care Network abortion center in Toledo, Ohio, the police would arrive and either arrest the pro-lifers or threaten them with arrest.
But not anymore!
We filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City and it is police chief (Zastrow v. City of Toledo), and on March 19th, the presiding judge signed a Consent Judgment and Order, enjoining the City:
“from enforcing any and all code provisions, specifically including the following provisions of the Ohio Revised Code: Menacing (ORC § 2903.22), Obstructing Official Business (ORC § 2921.31), and Disorderly Conduct (ORC § 2917.11); and the following provisions of the Toledo Municipal Code: Criminal Trespass (§ 541.05), Disorderly Conduct (§ 509.03), Loitering (§ 509.08), and the Anti-Noise Law (§ 507) (collectively referred to as the “Code Provisions”) as applied to the non-obstructive, expressive activity of pro-life demonstrators, including Plaintiffs, on the public fora adjacent to the Capital Care Network . . .”
Pursuant to the Consent Judgment and Order, the City paid AFLC $7,500 in attorneys’ fees and costs!
As a result, on April 7th, our pro-life clients, and several others, returned to the public sidewalk outside of the abortion center to engage in their lawful free speech activity.
The workers for the abortion center demanded that their usually complicit police officers stop the pro-lifers. But the police, which showed up in force, complied with the court order and told the abortionists that they were not permitted to stop the pro-lifers’ free speech activity! The abortionists were incensed, and we were happy to make their day!
And to top it all off, the pro-lifers confirmed that at least one baby was saved that day as a result of their peaceful witness for life outside of this Toledo death pit!
Please know that these victories are made possible by your prayers and generous support. We couldn’t do what we do without you! And we couldn’t do what we do without courageous clients, like Cal and Corrie Zastrow, who are willing to stand up and fight for our faith and freedoms!