Students for Life “Disappointed” but Determined to Express Pro-Life Free Speech in the Nation’s Capital as a Federal Judge & Washington D.C. Police Deny Students a Second Chance to Paint BLACK PREBORN LIVES MATTER 

“Our event will continue because whether expressed in paint, chalk, crayon, watercolor or spoken by people broken hearted about the violence of abortion, Black Preborn Lives Matter, and we will continue to fight for the right to say so,” said Students for Life’s Kristan Hawkins. 

WASHINGTON D.C. (03-26-2021) – A Federal Judge today has denied a preliminary injunction sought by Students for Life of America to attempt to paint for a second time BLACK PREBORN LIVES MATTER on the city street outside Planned Parenthood’s location on the 1200 block of 4th Street NE. In August, SFLA requested an event permit in which painting on the street with temporary paint was listed as part of the pro-life speech planned. The event was co-hosted with the Frederick Douglass Federation and at that time, SFLA was informed that it would be permitted, in part because Washington D.C. officials had allowed DEFUND THE POLICE to be painted next to the city’s BLACK LIVES MATTER painting, both in permanent paint. On the day of the proposed painting, police showed up in force to prevent the painting with temporary paint, and two students were arrested for merely trying to chalk BLACK PREBORN LIVES MATTER.

Alliance Defending Freedom now represents SFLA and FDF in a lawsuit. Today, Judge James Boasberg in Civil Action No. 20-3346 (JEB) denied a request for a preliminary injunction to allow for the use of temporary paint in an event planned for 10 a.m. ET Saturday at the same Planned Parenthood location. This follows up the D.C. Police denial of painting earlier in the week, which was requested in an event permit for Saturday.

Students for Life of America/Students for Life Action President Kristan Hawkins made the following statement:“We are disappointed that the free speech rights of pro-life Americans in our nation’s capital are not being protected and respected. It matters whether alternative points of view to those in power are heard and whether every place where groups are allowed to express themselves be open to all of us. Washington D.C. allowed DEFUND THE POLICE to be painted on city streets, without a permit, and yet this week, we have received an event permit from the city that expressly denies us the right to even use chalk. This kind of viewpoint discrimination should not be permitted, and yet a federal judge today has also denied Students for Life of America’s request for an injunction to allow us the freedom enjoyed by others. Still, the case proceeds, and we look forward to our day in court.

“Our event will continue because whether expressed in paint, chalk, crayon, watercolor or spoken by people broken hearted about the violence of abortion, Black Preborn Lives Matter, and we will continue to fight for the right to say so.”

Today at Newsweek, Hawkins along with Toni McFadden, Minority Outreach and Healthy Relationships Director with Students for Life of America, talk about the on-going denial of First Amendment free speech rights.

They observe: “The issue here is constitutional fairness. Actors, artists, politicians and CEOs have the liberty under the First Amendment to voice support for abortion or omit preborn children from their activism. But governmental entities engage in unconstitutional overreach when they seek to bar pro-life citizens from expressing the position that all Black lives matter, that abortion is violence, and that the Black preborn child deserves protection.

“The rights of pro-life citizens to make such declarations are not eliminated just because there are those who don’t want to say the same things. It matters that pro-life activists be allowed to paint on the streets of Washington D.C. just like BLM activists—not just because our message matters, but also because our freedom matters.” 

For interviews, e-mail Kristi Hamrick at khamrick@studentsforlife.org  

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Students for Life Action (SFLAction) is the 501c4 sister organization of Students for Life of America (SFLA), the nation’s largest, pro-life, student organization with more than 1,240 groups on middle, high school, and university campuses in all 50 states. Students for Life has more conversations with those most targeted by the abortion industry every day, week, and year than any other pro-life outreach in the world and mobilizes the Pro-Life Generation to confront abortion at the local, state and national levels daily. Every week, Students for Life entities reach more than 2 million people across social media platforms to have nearly 200,000 digital conversations with the most engaged pro-life online audience in the world.  

Students for Life of America (SFLA) is the nation’s largest, pro-life, youth organization. Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, SFLA serves more than 1,240 groups on college and university, middle and high school, medical and law school campuses in all 50 states. Student pro-life organizations work to confront policies on their campuses to support pregnant and parenting students, to end Planned Parenthood’s relationships with schools and communities, and to change minds of their peers about abortion. SFLA has more conversations with those most targeted by the abortion industry every day, week, and year than any other pro-life outreach in the world and mobilizes the Pro-Life Generation to confront abortion at the local, state and national levels daily. Every week, Students for Life entities reach more than 2 million people across social media platforms to have nearly 200,000 digital conversations with the most engaged pro-life online audience in the world.