State trying to silence pastor upset over abortion for 13-year-old
A lawsuit accuses the Department of Children’s Services in Tennessee of violating free speech, petition and establishment-clause rights by seeking a court order to shut down a website exposing the agency’s facilitation of an abortion for a 13-year-old against her parents’ wishes.
Attorney Van Irion filed suit in federal court on behalf of the pastor of the teen’s family, Mark Carr, who created the Johnathan’s Law website to expose the agency’s actions.
The Department of Children’s Services sought an order “to remove a website that contains information about this case, to instruct third parties to remove any website that contains information about this case and … to restrain (the parents) from discussing this matter with third parties.”
Irion responded with a notice to remove the case to federal court, where the constitutional issues can be resolved.
The state agency was closed Wednesday afternoon, and WND could not obtain comment.
Irion said the state agency took the 13-year-old girl and three siblings from their parents. It placed the girl with another relative, who, after having been refused permission for an abortion from several Tennessee judges, took her to Georgia for an abortion “that would have been illegal in Tennessee.”
State officials asked a juvenile court to shut down Carr’s website and order his parishioners “not talk to their pastor about the case.”
“Since this appears to violate my client’s free speech and establishment [clause] rights, the motion gave the federal court jurisdiction over the case,” Irion said
The website states it is dedicated “to Johnathan who was murdered with an abortion on March 30th, 2018.”
“At the time of his murder, Johnathan was 21 weeks old. His 13 year old mother was taken to Atlanta to kill him over the objection of his grandparents.”
The website explains the siblings were taken from their parents by officials in Sevier County, Tennessee.
The grandparents are represented by another attorney, Andy Fox.
The website states, “We believe no 13 year old girl should be taken to another state to murder a baby when that murder is illegal in Tennessee.”
The federal court case is over the pastor’s constitutional rights to talk about the case.
Carr’s lawyer said the attempt to shut down the website “raises questions of federal constitutional law.”
“The state motion violates Pastor Carr’s rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution’s free speech clause, freedom to petition clause, and establishment clause.”
The lawyer also explained that Carr is working with legislators to adopt a law “to prohibit something like this from ever happening again.”
The case addressing the pastor’s constitutional rights does not address the state agency’s determination to take the children from their home or place the 13-year-old with a relative.
( Source )