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Court Victory for Pro-Life Free Speech at Ivy League Brown University

by Staff
March 9, 2010
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PROVIDENCE, RI, ( -- Attorneys from the Chicago- based Thomas More Society, on the eve of the trial, won a victory in Providence municipal court this week when the city prosecutor decided to dismiss criminal charges against Christopher Young. Young, a Catholic pro-lifer who is also a Democratic mayoral candidate, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after confronting Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) about his abortion views at an advertised "open forum" on health care at Brown University last November.

Thomas More Society attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the charge of disorderly conduct, arguing that Young did not act in a disorderly fashion when he pressed tough questions to Rep. Kennedy and tossed a pro-life video on the desk in front of the Congressman, who quickly took and looked at the video. The video, Maafa 21, is a recently-released documentary on the history of the abortion industry and its targeting of African- Americans.

"This represents a victory for free speech, even when the view expressed gets an inhospitable reception. In this case, it was Young's view that even a supposedly 'unwanted' infant is clothed with an inviolable dignity and endowed with an inalienable right to life," said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society.

Brejcha continued, "Congressman Kennedy had opened the forum by arguing that all of us are 'children of God' who carry a 'divine spark.' Young was entirely within his rights under the First Amendment when he called Kennedy to task for supporting the mass demise of so many millions of unborn human beings -- all of whom are no less bearers of a 'divine spark' and 'children of God.'"

Brejcha concluded, "The Congressman's stubborn insistence that he remains a faithful Catholic, while advocating both for abortion on demand and the suppression of conscience rights, is nothing less than living a lie. Brown's actions also belied its claim to be a place where ideas may be freely discussed -- even the idea that human dignity is universally shared. We urge Brown to heed the message of Salman Rushdie, who lectured at Brown on the eve of Young's last scheduled court date, urging that all speakers be given the right to speak, even those whose views some find 'detestable.'"

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a not-for- profit, public interest law firm based in Chicago and dedicated to fighting for the rights and dignity of all human beings, from conception until natural death. The Society vigorously defends clients in state and federal courtrooms around the country, addressing vital issues across the pro-life spectrum, including pregnancy discrimination, end-of-life health care, the right of conscientious objection for medical workers, freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and peaceable nonviolent protest.

As a public interest law firm, the Thomas More Society is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, supported solely by private donations. Visit for more information.

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