Cal Zastrow and his daughter Corrie have experienced victory in the protection of their free speech rights to advocate for life. This happened in Toledo, but it affects us right here in Columbus.
It all started when they were attempting to peacefully advocate for the lives of unborn babies on the public sidewalks near the Capital Care Network, a local abortion clinic.
Their advocacy includes prayer, preaching, worshiping, distributing literature and holding pro-life signs on public sidewalks near abortion centers where innocent children are killed on a daily basis.
But Toledo Police weren’t having it; the advocacy and voices of this father and daughter were effectively silenced. But not for long as God was on their side.
The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) stepped in and filed a civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on behalf of the Zastrows against the city, its chief of police, along with two officers. Said suit claimed the officers violated the Zastrows’ constitutional rights — outlined in the First and Fourteenth amendments.
The First amendment reads as such: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The Fourteenth: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The judge recognized these rights and sided with the plaintiffs, ordering the city to allow the Zastrows to continue on with their peaceful protests undeterred. And that’s not all. The city is also required to pay $7,500 in attorneys’ fees and costs to the AFLC.
This victory affects pro-lifers right here in the capital city as it further empowers us to continually protest in peaceful manners near abortion clinics within our own community. Let’s continue to fight the good fight!
A copy of the decision can be read here.