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Missoula City dismisses unconstitutional charges against peaceful pro-life advocate

The charges against a peaceful pro-life advocate in Missoula, Montana, for obstructing access into an abortion clinic, have been dismissed after it was pointed out that the charges were unconstitutional.

According to LifeNews, Marilyn Hatch is a regular participant of peaceful prayer and counselling, offering alternatives to abortion, outside the Blue Mountain abortion clinic in Missoula. On one occasion, a police office cited her for obstructing access into the clinic, despite her being within the boundaries as stated by the city.

The city dismissed the charges towards the end of May 2021, after the Thomas More Society sent a letter to the Senior Deputy City Attorney of Missoula, pointing out that the charges were unconstitutional, and insisted they be dismissed or risk facing a lawsuit.

“All people have the right to peacefully give their opinions about the dignity of unborn human life outside abortion facilities. The City of Missoula’s  decision to criminally charge Mrs. Hatch for engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment was itself unconstitutional,” declared Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Matt Heffron.

“We have to be vigilant in fighting for these rights, each and every time they are violated,” he said.  “That’s what the Thomas More Society is here for.”

“This was a bad idea by the City of Missoula from the start,” explained Heffron. “It was a wise decision on their part to dismiss this case. If they had persisted in the charges against Mrs. Hatch, they would have lost.”

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