Monday, February 16, 2009

Pastor arrested for anti-abortion sign

I was please to interview Dana Cody. Dana is the Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation.

Dana ‘s organization is providing legal aid to Walter Hoye, a pastor in Oakland, California. Hoye was arrested for carrying a sign that read ‘Jesus Loves You. Can we help?’ Oakland has a city ordinance that prohibits free speech in a certain radius around abortion clinics. The legal question is can a city prohibit peaceful, free speech in a public area? The Supreme Court has struck down similar laws that attempt to limit speech in such a manner (Hill vs. Colorado).

My primary interest in this story is that of Free Speech. I have noticed a disturbing trend from both the Left and the Right with attempts at silencing political speech. President Bush had “free speech” zones at his public appearances which prohibited protests except for out of the way locations. Protestors were only allowed their Free Speech in a chained off area that was out of sight of the President. Such areas (which were basically cages) were called “Free Speech Zones”.

Now we are seeing similar “zones” that attempt to silence speech. The Founders of this country believe that the entire country was a Free Speech zone. They believed that any attempt to prohibit free speech in public is a form of tyranny.

Below is the video of Walter Hoye protesting.

[Clinic escorts routinely block Rev. Hoye’s sign with blank signs to prevent women from seeing his message: “God loves you and your baby. Let us help.”]


  1. It is amazing that someone could be arrested in America for demonstrating their right of free speech. This is not a hate crime. I don't even really see him holding up these particular signs as an actual "protest". But rather a peaceful example of demonstrating love and an offer to help if the mother chooses to accept. I am outraged that this would happen in the US.

  2. It is sad. No matter if you approve of abortion or not, the key is that we should always have the freedom to peacefully protest.

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  4. "Jesus loves you. Can we help?"

    Is it not an admission that Jesus would not be for abortion, that they assumed the pastor was protesting against abortion and not trying to get more women to go to the clinic?

    Fact is, not only were his rights stomped on (which the 14th amendment prohibits a state from enforcing any law that does such), the pastor was judged, tried and convicted for his "thoughts." When it comes right down to it, there are people who would claim that those abortion clinics "help" women.