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Boom! Lawyered: Shredding the Claim that Abortion Clinic Protests Are an ‘Essential Service’

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

Do you know who’s not staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic? Abortion clinic protesters. In states like North Carolina, California, and Michigan, protesters have defied stay-at-home orders to continue campaigns of clinic harassment. Naturally, it’s led to police arresting the protesters. And because the anti-choice community is nothing if not litigious, those arrests resulted in—you guessed it—lawsuits.

The protesters are not only claiming that the arrests violate the First Amendment, but they also argue that their protests are an “essential service.” And it isn’t just one or two protesters two making this claim: One of the most prominent anti-choice law firms in the country is floating this legal theory, as well.

In this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy lay waste to the claim that protesting an abortion clinic during a global pandemic is an “essential service” and discuss whether the courts will look the other way, anyway.

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Transcript (PDF)