LOS ANGELES, November 26, 2003 ( – Federal Judge Edward Rafeedie of the Central District of California issued a preliminary injunction in favour of four pro-life activists who seek to communicate to young people the truth about abortion. The pro-lifers were represented by Catherine Short, Legal Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation.  The injunction prohibits the Long Beach Unified School District, a high school principal, six Long Beach police officers and the city from arresting or otherwise interfering with the pro-lifers “holding signs, distributing literature, and discussing abortion with students and others present on the sidewalk adjoining Millikan High School during school dismissal periods.”

The decision arose out of a civil rights action filed by Dan McCullough, Eric Milton, Myh Vo, and Christine Reeves. On September 26, 2002, the four were holding signs and distributing literature on the public sidewalk in front of Millikan High School in Long Beach. The police told them they were trespassing because the sidewalk was considered school property and the principal didn’t want them there. When threatened with arrest, three of them retreated to the opposite sidewalk, but McCullough refused to leave and was taken into custody.  About twenty minutes later, the police demanded that Milton hand over his videotape of the incident. When he declined to do so, they threatened him and the others with arrest. Ultimately, the police got the tape from Milton by placing handcuffs on him. Fortunately, the tape was later retrieved from the police.  The defendants initially argued that the public sidewalk adjacent to a high school is not a public forum, then that the plaintiffs’ speech could be restricted because it was “offensive” and the students were a “captive audience,” and finally that part of the public sidewalk technically belonged to the school district. The district court rejected all of these arguments.  Short stated, “We are very pleased with the court’s order allowing our clients to return to Millikan High School and show their peers the ugly and, yes, ‘offensive’, truth about abortion.”


Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.