The ACLJ is asking a federal court to strike down a state law that is being used to arrest pro-life sidewalk counselors, violating their fundamental free speech rights.
On November 27th, the ACLJ filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction on behalf of our clients, Anthony Miano and Nicholas Rolland. As we told you here, in this case the ACLJ is challenging Iowa Code § 723.4(2), which makes it a misdemeanor to make “loud and raucous noise in the vicinity of any residence or public building which causes unreasonable distress to the occupants thereof.”
Due to their religious convictions, our clients conduct pro-life outreach outside of abortion clinics in Iowa. Last year, Mr. Miano was arrested outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic where he was ministering after someone inside claimed they were distressed by our clients’ pro-life words and called the police. Additionally, both Mr. Miano and Mr. Rolland have been told by police officers that if they choose to continue their pro-life outreach, they may face arrest and prosecution again in the future.
Our motion and supporting brief ask the District Court to declare Section 723.4 unconstitutionally vague and overbroad because it fails to provide an ordinary person an understanding of what behavior is prohibited by the statute and makes criminal speech that is, in fact, protected by the Constitution of the United States.
Moreover, we ask that the Court prohibit any future arrest or prosecution by Defendants – or anyone who works for or on behalf of the Defendants – against our clients or others who choose to exercise their Constitutionally-protected right to free speech and expression outside abortion clinics in Johnson County, Iowa.
We will keep you updated as this case progresses. In the meantime, please join the fight to defend the unborn and sign our petition against pro-abortion laws. Thank you for standing with the ACLJ this year as we continue to work in the courts on behalf of vulnerable women and children.
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