Court OKs big photos of aborted fetuses outside schools
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
(07-02) 17:36 PDT SAN FRANCISCO – A federal appeals court gave an anti-abortion group the go-ahead Wednesday to drive trucks with enlarged photos of aborted fetuses past California schools, saying the Constitution protects the display of disturbing messages.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies interfered with free speech by ordering the driver of one such truck to move away from a middle school, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The deputies had cited a state law barring disruptive activities near public school grounds.
“The government cannot silence messages simply because they cause discomfort, fear or even anger,” said a panel of three judges - Harry Pregerson, Marsha Berzon and William Fletcher, all considered liberals.
Read the ruling
The ruling in Center for Bio-Ethical Reform vs. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is available at the appeals court’s Web site: