Pro-Life Advocates Banned From Public Sidewalks in Minneapolis

Pro-Life Advocates Banned From Public Sidewalks in Minneapolis

The far-left authoritarians who run Minneapolis have struck another blow against what used to be considered a fundamental constitutional right: Freedom of speech.

According to the Tennessee Star, the city council late last week adopted a new ordinance that prohibits pro-life advocates and counselors from being on sections of public sidewalks.

Already, the prohibition is being called out as unconstitutional.

“We believe this proposal is unconstitutional and want to express our opposition as we prepare to challenge it should it go into effect,” an email from Thomas Wilkin, Pro-Life Action Ministries’ sidewalk counseling manager, noted, per the outlet.

He went on to say that the law now prevents sidewalk counselors from “from standing on parts of the public sidewalk outside Uptown Planned Parenthood to offer life-saving literature to abortion clients driving in.”

The ordinance noted that “occupying” the driveways of abortion facilities is now banned. The measure defines a driveway as “that portion of a right-of-way, including a sidewalk or bikeway, that provides vehicular access from a street to a reproductive health care facility.”

The ordinance goes on to note that sidewalk counselors cannot enter the driveway of those facilities unless they are “crossing the driveway completely from one side of the driveway to the other without stopping or slowing and continuing to a destination beyond the furthest lot line of the reproductive health care facility.”

“No person shall knowingly physically disrupt any person’s access to, ingress to, or egress from a reproductive health care facility, or attempt to do so,” the measure noted further.

The outlet noted further:

The ordinance was proposed by Ward 7 Council Member Lisa Goodman, who formerly served as the executive director for Minnesota National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL).

A security access supervisor for Planned Parenthood spoke in front of the city’s Public Health and Safety Committee on Nov. 9, claiming he has experienced many problems with patients, guests, and employees trying to enter the Planned Parenthood facility.

“I have also seen protesters follow patients, guests, and employees to the next traffic stop,” he said, adding that while he has not yet witnessed a motor vehicle accident due to sidewalk counselors, he is “sure we will.”

Ward 2 Council Member Robin Wonsley talked about her own experience at the Minnesota clinic, claiming that she was made to feel anxiety by “protesters” who were on hand.

She argued that city leaders “should not be creating spaces for people who are seeking health care … to feel intimidated in that process.”

“Harassment, intimidation, stalking, threats, following people. You’d think they were talking about how political people treat us,” Goodman, who authored the ordinance, said during last week’s meeting. “But even worse, you’re talking about how political people treat the general public, women who are trying to exercise their First Amendment rights in order to access health care.”

Wilkin pushed back on those claims, however.

“​​We strictly instruct volunteers to be peaceful and compassionate while offering resources to Planned Parenthood clients. Our own volunteers have been pushed, swerved at by vehicles driven by Planned Parenthood employees, and verbally abused by them,” he told Alpha News.

He also said that sidewalk counselors were not obstructing traffic, and the Planned Parenthood clinic can’t provide any evidence to refute that.

“Every example in the footage Planned Parenthood released depicts their own clients freely stopping to receive information from our sidewalk counselors,” Wilkin told Alpha News. “The obvious implication is that free speech is undermining Planned Parenthood’s efforts to kill babies and they don’t like that. If Planned Parenthood truly supports choice they would be supporting our efforts to offer alternative options to abortion.”


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