The United States Second Circuit Court reportedly blocked the New York Attorney General's attempt to ban Christians from praying outside abortion clinics.
Life News said the Second Circuit Court reversed its earlier opinion on the lawsuit filed by the state of New York against 13 pro-lifers who prayed outside the Choices Women's Medical Center in Jamaica.
Reuters explained that the lawsuit was filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James in 2017 against the pro-lifers in behalf of Choices Women's Medical Center for allegedly "blocking patients' access to" the clinic and for "threatening patients' escorts," which are said to violate the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and the state's laws on Clinic Access and on Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities.
Accordingly, patients were "traumatized" and were "shaking and crying" after being allegedly harassed by the pro-lifers to change their minds from having an abortion. Though the pro-lifers' legal counselor Thomas More Society retorted the claims were untrue for the patients were counseled "peacefully" regarding "information about abortion alternatives," which are still within the bounds of their First Amendment Rights.
The Circuit Court's Judge Carol Bagley Amon in July 2018 rejected the state's motion for an injunction but the Circuit's panel was divided in March 2021 regarding the denial of the injunction due to the First Amendment right of the protesters being violated by it. A rehearing was requested by the protesters resulting on the reversal of the said decision on Thursday.
"Accordingly, we affirm the denial of the Attorney General's motion for a preliminary injunction and remand to the district court for a full consideration of the merits. In doing so, and consistent with prior holdings of our Court, we do not specifically affirm or question the array of evidentiary and factual findings made by the district court. Rather, we hold simply that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that preliminary injunctive relief was not warranted at this time," the Second Circuit Court said in its unanimous opinion.
"Although we are doubtful about certain aspects of the district court's findings, we are at the same time persuaded that [the district court's] ultimate determination that plaintiff was not entitled to a preliminary injunction did not constitute an abuse of [its] discretion," the opinion stressed.
Thomas More Society lawyer Martin Cannon praised the ruling for favoring his clients, calling it "very good" and raised that the court's entitlement to change its opinion based on findings.
"It's a very good ruling. The trial court is entitled to considerable discretion when it makes findings of fact," Cannon said.
While Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver called it a "victory" since the pro-lifers did nothing wrong. Staver raised that the Attorney General's motives for filing the lawsuit was political in nature and "frivolous."
"This is a great victory. We are pleased that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed its prior opinion and reinstated the district court's well-reasoned opinion that thwarted the attorney general's attempt to censor our client," Staver said.
"Scott Fitchett did nothing wrong by exercising his First Amendment right to preach the gospel on a public sidewalk. The AG's lawsuit is politically-motivated and patently frivolous," he added.