City officials stand down after legal non-profit intervenes
Pro-life sidewalk counselors are back on the sidewalk in Everett, Washington, thanks to the legal work of the Thomas More Society.
The Everett City Attorney and police department had banned everyone - including pro-life sidewalk counselors - from the sidewalk in front of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in the town 25 miles north of Seattle, after pro-abortion protestors had started a single confrontation. Following that, the city and police granted preferential position to the pro-abortion agitators, allowing them to stand immediately across the street from the abortion venue. The peaceful pro-life advocates were banished far down the street away from the entrance, across the cross street, to the distant corners.
On May 19, 2021, after pressure from the not-for-profit, national public interest law firm, the city informed the Thomas More Society that it was removing all restrictions.
The life advocates represented by the Thomas More Society are participants in two national pro-life initiatives, Sidewalk Advocates for Life and 40 Days for Life. Both groups are committed to peaceful outreach aimed at ending abortion, and neither will tolerate any violence or hostility exhibited by its participants.
“No one should be banished to the far corners for offering aid and peaceful prayer, as happened here,” said Thomas More Society attorney Matt Heffron
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“We wrote to the city and provided a detailed analysis of the Constitutional cases that apply to the facts of the situation in Everett. We also told them that we would be filing a lawsuit if they continued. It was a clear violation of the First Amendment rights of the pro-life sidewalk counselors,” explained Heffron.
“In the end, the city did the right thing,” concluded Heffron. “It just takes some legal pressure at times. That’s what the Thomas More Society is here for.”
The Thomas More Society will continue to monitor the situation.
The May 11 letter from the Thomas More Society to the Everett City Attorney can be viewed HERE.
Editor's note: The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. The Thomas More Society fosters support for these causes by providing pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, visit thomasmoresociety.org. This article was released by TC Public Relations and is reprinted with permission.