Graphic Abortion Signs Ban Threat to Free Speech?

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One group of pro-life activists in Colorado has been demonstrating against abortion almost every day. They often carry signs with messages like "Protect the unborn" or "Let your baby live."

But some are much more graphic.

Now the state Supreme Court in Denver is allowing an injunction against such signs to stand, ruling they cause "psychological harm" to children under 12.

Attorney Rebecca Messall vowed to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"If these pictures cause psychological harm and can be made the subject of an injunction, that opens the door to an end to our First Amendment protection," Messall said. "It could be argued that a crucifix is too gory for children to view under age 12." 

Anti-abortion protester Ken Scott said he shows such graphic photos because they're effective in swaying women against having an abortion.

"The reason that we have the signs is because when we've talked to women who've changed their mind, 50 percent say it's because they saw the picture," Scott told CBN News. "A picture's worth a thousand words and it shows the truth."

The group Created Equal showed the same bloody images on a huge Jumbotron at last year's March for Life in the nation's capital.

They said they did it because women need to see what abortion does to babies.

"They're not being shown the truth, and so I hope today as they see these images they will be confronted with the truth and that they will then be able to make the right choice and choose life for their children," Created Equal's Aubrie Drayer said.

"This is the American holocaust like with Hitler, the German holocaust. If you showed the Jews who were gassed, it sinks in. People need to see the truth," Scott explained.

Messall and her pro-life friends worry this injunction could crack open the door to many more infringements of religious rights.

"Recently there were leaders in the Middle East who called for blasphemy laws in the United States. And what was the reason they gave? Because they claim some speech causes psychological and spiritual harm," Messall said.

Pro-life demonstrators say only one group will profit from such censorship: lawyers.

"For lawyers it becomes a heyday because lawyers will be suing everybody over speech they claim causes psychological harm," Messall said.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at