The DC Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled in favor of pro-life advocates in the nation’s capital in a lawsuit brought by a public charter school that objected to the group’s efforts to stop a Planned Parenthood “abortion mega-facility” from opening next door to the school.
Two Rivers Public Charter School and its board of trustees brought a lawsuit in December 2015 that alleged longtime pro-life activist Ruby Nicdao engaged in harassment and intimidation of students in her campaign to educate parents and the greater community about the consequences of Planned Parenthood’s intentions to erect an “abortion mega-facility” next door to the children’s school, a press release from Thomas More Society explained.
The public charter school sought to legally suppress Nicdao’s efforts to speak out about the dangers of having a Planned Parenthood facility next to a school.
“This is a tremendous victory, not only for Ruby Nicdao, but for all who face persecution for sharing their viewpoint and speaking truth to an unsympathetic audience,” Stephen Crampton, senior counsel for Thomas More Society and lead counsel in the case said in a statement Friday.
“However, even though this was a baseless lawsuit, it still took seven years to win,” Crampton emphasized. “During those seven years Ruby and other innocent pro-life advocates had to carry on with a dark cloud of suspicion following them everywhere they went. It should not have taken so long to exonerate Ruby and her cohorts.”
Crampton explained Nicdao’s efforts to educate parents about the 26,000-square-foot abortion facility being built “next to and across the street from their children’s schools”:
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC, was going to be performing abortions mere yards from these elementary and middle school students, one serving children as young as three years old. When Ruby and others peacefully attempted to pass out literature and speak to parents, they were met with harassment and much hostility, which led the school — not Planned Parenthood — to sue, purportedly on behalf of the parents and students as well as on behalf of the school itself.
The Superior Court of the District of Columbia denied Nicdao’s motion to dismiss the case, but a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals reversed, ruling the school had no standing to sue and that the school was unlikely to succeed alleging “private nuisance and conspiracy to create a private nuisance,” Thomas More Society further explained.
“Rather than protect students from Planned Parenthood’s propaganda and access to abortion, Two Rivers attacked Ruby and others who were only trying to share truth and truly protect these innocent students,” Crampton added. “Parents should take note of whose interests these public schools are really seeking to serve.”
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Two Rivers Public Charter School” by Two Rivers Public Charter School.