Criminal charges against a pro-life supporter arrested by San Francisco police last month for praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility have been dropped, Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) has announced.
"We are pleased to report that all charges against Ron have been dismissed," the legal non-profit said in a statement.
San Francisco police officers issued a criminal citation to Ron K. for allegedly violating the city’s “shelter in place“ ordinance, LLDF's release said, "which allows abortionists to operate without restrictions, yet suppressed the speech of those who would dare to provide women with accurate information about abortion procedures as well as resources to help women carry their babies to term."
Ron, whom LLDF called a "pro-life hero," had maintained a peaceful presence at the abortion facility for more than a decade, praying for women and offering them life-affirming alternatives to abortion.
On April 2 while he was praying outside the Planned Parenthood, San Francisco officers said Ron had violated the city’s “shelter-in-place” ordinance and threatened to take him to jail if he did not immediately leave. The police did this despite Ron having remained a safe distance away from women and staff entering the abortion center at all times.
The arresting officer had told pro-life advocates on the scene that their “constitutional right to protest…has to take a back seat to the health order.”
Ron was arrested and issued a criminal citation - the only pro-lifer to receive a citation.
“From what I can tell, this was a politically motivated citation by a disgruntled police officer who wanted to curry favor with Planned Parenthood,” Life Legal affiliate attorney Mike Millen said. “Charging Ron with a violation was absurd because the charge involved proving that he was ‘likely’ to ‘imperil the lives or property of inhabitants of this City and County’. We are grateful that the DA saw the light.”
Planned Parenthood has continued to operate its facilities, including the one in San Francisco, at full capacity during the coronavirus pandemic, LLDF reports, insisting that surgical and chemical abortions, sex-change hormone therapy, abortion-inducing birth control, “morning-after” abortion pills and controversial Gardasil vaccines are “essential services.”
The city attorney has assured LLDF that pro-lifers outside the city’s abortion mills will no longer be criminally cited for violating the shelter-in-place order, the group said.
LLDF has said that as long Planned Parenthood is allowed to stay open, women have the right to information about all of their options. The legal group says as well that pro-life supporters who help direct women to pregnancy centers, abortion pill reversal, post-abortion counseling and other life-affirming healthcare are providing essential services and it will continue to defend their right to do so.
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"The criminal citation was a gross overreach of the city’s authority," LLDF said. "As long as Planned Parenthood is permitted to kill babies, pro-life advocates like Ron must be allowed to provide women with accurate information about abortion as well as resources to help women carry their babies to term. Life Legal stands ready to fight for the rights of pro-life sidewalk witnesses to speak the truth about abortion at all times."