By Samantha Kamman, Abortion Columnist
Ellen Haverman Hermann, a pro-life woman in Alabama, won her appeals court case after she was ticketed for handing out pro-life brochures outside of an abortion clinic. Hermann received a $250 fine for protesting without a permit, but an Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed it, saying that Hermann was exempt from city ordinances against demonstrations.
Hermann was issued a citation after a complaint accused her of stopping traffic outside of the abortion facility. The police officer that had been called to the scene denied that Hermann had been blocking traffic, but did offer a citation for allegedly violating a city ordinance by engaging in a public demonstration without a permit. The citation was then appealed by Hermann, and the court took her side, labeling the citation as “unjustifiable.”
Judge Chris McCool stated in his ruling that Hermann should not have been punished for handing out pro-life brochures.
“Thus, the city’s prosecution of Hermann’s distribution of pamphlets on the basis that she failed to obtain a permit is unjustifiable; the city cannot prosecute Hermann for violating the permit requirement … when the very ordinance that provides the permitting process expressly states that Hermann’s conduct did not require a permit.”
“The city cannot punish Hermann for failing to obtain a permit for conduct the city has expressly provided does not require a permit. Accordingly, under the specific facts of this case, we reverse Hermann’s conviction and render a judgment in her favor.”
This is not the first time unfounded accusations have been brought up against a pro-life advocate. In 2018, a Canadian abortion activist falsely accused a pro-lifer of throwing pain on her face and calling her a “murderer.” The police investigation concluded the alleged incident never occurred, and it is a reminder for pro-lifers to remain cautious of the smearing of their character from abortion advocates in an attempt to discredit the life-affirming work of pro-lifers.