Birmingham man acquitted of walking down the sidewalk

You read that right: a Birmingham man has been acquitted of two charges of walking down the street outside an abortion clinic. Yes, he had been there on other occasions to protest the abortions that are done there. But when the clinic had him arrested for violating the terms of a court injunction, Mr. Spears was not protesting; he was merely walking down the sidewalk. Yes, he was within the 25-foot buffer zone. But that only applies to protesters; and to protesters when they are, in fact, protesting, which he was not. He was walking down the sidewalk “with his hands in his pockets”, according to District Judge David Lichtenstein.

Defense lawyer Eric Guster said the case was about free speech. “This case is about them trying to silence a man who has a difference of opinion with them,” he told jurors in his opening statement.

Seems like filing charges against Spears was an extreme measure to take…unless the clinic is seeking to stop all foot traffic outside its property. Which, again, seems rather extreme. And silly. I’m told that this is the same clinic where a certain employee used to come outside to jeer at protesters and yell and curse at them. On one occasion she even went so far as to come outside with a leaf-blower in an attempt to drown out the sound of the protesters’ voices as they prayed the rosary. Whose ears did she think she was blocking? Her own? Or God’s, to whom the prayer is directed? Did she really think that He wouldn’t be able to hear His people over the tremendous racket of a leaf-blower? What idiocy.

As for me personally, I’ve joined the rosary group a few times and I’ve never witnessed any confrontations. I’ve seen people drive by and shake their heads. I’ve seen them drive by and stare as if they didn’t know what to think. I’ve seen them give us a thumbs up. I’ve seen them pull over, get out and walk over to ask us what we’re all about. I’ve seen them leave with literature and seem very grateful that we were there. But I’ve never witnessed any trouble. The only negative experience I’ve had so far was during the March for Life when abortion clinic personnel stood outside their clinic, which they had festooned with balloons and signs, and yelled at us. Pathetic, sad and tragic, that’s all I could think as I trudged by, barely able to feel my feet in the freezing January cold. I didn’t say anything to them and neither did anyone else. We were on a silent march and there was no need to sink to their level.

Read the story at Alabama Judge Dismisses Two Charges Against Pro-Life Abortion Center Protester Scroll down near the bottom of the page, last story.

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