Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Omaha Decides to Forego Harrassment of Free Speech & Assembly

Largely because of the Omaha World-Herald's over-the-top bias in favor of Planned Parenthood and other abortionists, we have not read an edition of their rag since the mid-80s. Our friends all know this. However, they do sometimes send along to us W-H articles they think we should know about...and sometimes they're right. Here's a brief piece which, I hope, will end Mr. Gernandt's absurd plans for a picketing ban. (Don't these politicians ever read the Constitution?)

Then again, the naive Mr. Gernandt wasn't around 20 years ago when I sued (successfully) the City of Omaha and forced an end to the police arresting us for sidewalk counseling outside abortion clinics. Maybe someone there at City Hall did remember and passed along the word. Whatever the reason, the scheme is defunct...for now. Here's the story as sent along by Mary Jane:

Anti-Picketing Bill Dead

Dec. 19, 2006

An ordinance to restrict picketing at Omaha homes is dead. Realizing the votes were not there, Omaha City Councilman Garry Gernandt asked this morning that the measure be placed on file, meaning that the ordinance won't come up for a vote.

The ordinance would have required pickets to stand across the street from a targeted home, or at least 50 feet away if the home is on the same side of the street. It was based on a Lincoln ordinance that has been upheld as constitutional by a federal court. Larry Donlan, who heads Rescue the Heartland, said he was pleased the ordinance failed. "Obviously the majority on the council realized the bill was grossly unfair and unworkable. In Omaha free speech is safe at least for now, so we are very pleased."

Abortion provider Wendy Davis said in an interview with the Omaha World Herald, "I'm not surprised at the outcome, but I'm disappointed." "It seems like (pickets) have all the rights, and I don't have any."

Seven members of Rescue The Heartland held a prayer vigil at Ms. Davis's house late this afternoon. Mr. Donlan said that their intention was not to "harrass" Ms. Davis but to hold her accountable and to "pray for her to have a change of heart during this holy season." He also said that they were willing to "help her find a job, if she showed a desire to get out of the abortion business."

Davis told the OWH that she won't leave her job because of the pickets, as Rescue the Heartland has requested. "This is all about me quitting my job," Davis said. "I'm not going to let them win that way."

Donlan said that they hold similar vigils at other abortion provider's homes such as Omaha abortionist Meryl Severson and plans to include others as well.