Abortion protester wins key ruling against Detroit suburb

CENTER LINE, Mich. (AP) — A judge has ordered a Detroit suburb to stop interfering with an abortion protester who displays a sign with images of aborted fetuses.

Michael Mattia sued the city of Center Line after police told him his sign was disturbing the peace on a “psychological level.” He says his free speech rights were violated while he was on a sidewalk near a busy intersection.

The city later told Mattia that the sign violated Center Line’s sign ordinance.

Federal Judge David Lawson granted an injunction Monday. He says there’s no evidence that Mattia caused traffic problems with his sign.

The judge says police couldn’t point to any disturbance besides complaints from critics. Lawson says the First Amendment protects against a “heckler’s veto” by people who simply don’t like the content of speech.

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1 Comment

  • Kevin Rahe

    While we have to be careful not to overuse such images because people can become desensitized to them, abortion – with or without photos – SHOULD be ‘disturbing… on a “psychological level”,’ at least to anyone who is human.