The staff at the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) reported last week that a citation for unlawful assembly against a pro-life group in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has been dropped. The group, called Missionaries to the Preborn, is a Milwaukee-based organization. The group’s pro-life advocacy efforts extend throughout the Midwest. You can learn more about the group here.
According to a press release on Christian Newswire, police cited Jason Storms as he engaged in outreach and education on a public street in Sioux Falls. Some 50 other pro-lifers were engaged in the same action. LLDF reports that the citation was based on a city ordinance required groups of ten or more people engaged in a public assembly to have a permit. Mr. Storms contacted Katie Short, legal director for the Life Legal Defense Foundation, soon after he received the citation. She was able to speak with the city attorney, explaining that the ordinance was unconstitutional in its permit requirement.
The group was soon allowed to continue demonstrating, and further conversations resulted in the citation being dropped. Dana Cody, executive director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, stated, “We are happy that the citation was dismissed. Once again it was a matter of police and government going overboard in their attack on free speech. Pro-lifers shouldn’t have to be intimidated to speak out for the unborn.”
In a press release, Missionaries to the Preborn thanked Katie Short and the Life Legal Defense Foundation for their efforts, saying, “[Life Legal Defense Foundation] worked on this for a week so tat we could go back to Sioux Falls and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, yet again! This will hopefully help the local pro-lifers too, who have been intimidated by the unjust actions of the police there.”
According to LLDF, the city of Sioux Falls is looking into the way the specific ordinance in questions is being enforced.