Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Courts

Abortion protesters sue Huntsville over free speech rights

Downtown Huntsville (STOCK)

Thursday, Personhood Alabama announced that pro-life sidewalk advocates James and Carol Henderson have filed suit against the City of Huntsville alleging a violation of their constitutional right to free speech.

For years, Reverend and Mrs. Henderson have legally advocated for life on the public sidewalk outside of the abortion clinic in Huntsville with a permit obtained from the City of Huntsville.

According to the plaintiffs, in 2017, the city unexpectedly added what they feel was oddly restrictive language to the permit, to the effect that “[t]he amplified sound produced by a participant in the event shall not be plainly audible inside adjacent or nearby buildings.” The Hendersons contend that this new permit requirement is grossly unconstitutional and has put pro-life advocates through unnecessary apprehension regarding potential legal backlash from the city.

“All it would take for us to be arrested as we speak for life over the noise of the four lane road behind us,” Reverend James Henderson said, “would be for one abortion clinic employee to open a window and turn on a recorder. This is unacceptable.”

Matthew Clark is the attorney for the Hendersons.

Clark noted that “whether the City of Huntsville agrees with the Hendersons or with the abortion clinic regarding the nature of a human abortion, there is no circumstance under which the city can violate the constitutional right to free speech enjoyed by any law-abiding citizen in the United States.”

“Just try to imagine any other civil rights movement in our nation’s history,” Clark continued. “Imagine where we would be if cities across the country told civil rights advocates that it was fine to express their views as long as someone with their window open in a nearby building couldn’t hear them. That sounds absurd, because it is absurd.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“This makes Huntsville a danger zone for free speech,” Clark concluded. “We expect the courts to correct this violation and assist the City of Huntsville in protecting the constitutional rights of every law-abiding citizen.”

Personhood Alabama is an Alabama nonprofit corporation, recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

More from the Alabama Political Reporter

State

Amid the state’s near-total abortion ban, the board says they get questions about what “they can fill and what is appropriate."

Opinion

Marshall’s stretch to accommodate his ideological agenda is feeble, transparent and hopefully won’t hold up.

Featured Opinion

It's not enough, apparently, that the state has inserted itself between women and doctors. It also wants to keep them perpetually afraid and confused.

Opinion

Fear and uncertainty. That’s all it takes to make good people stop helping one another.

Prisons

Multiple sources within the state prison system indicated that a number of incarcerated individuals were stabbed.

Legislature

Lomax replaces incumbent state Rep. Howard Sanderford, R-Hunstville, in District 20.

Featured Opinion

The resistance to medical marijuana is rooted in the same old tired mantra that always holds us back: We hate any change.

Legislature

Gidley spent 21 years in the insurance business before committing full-time to the ministry as pastor at Faith Worship Center in Glencoe.