Free speech lawsuit filed by pro-life students against University settled for $20K

In a victory for pro-life students in Idaho, Boise State University has agreed to pay $20K to pro-life students and has revised its policy for campus demonstrations to allow controversial events without warning signs.

The decision follows a lawsuit filed on behalf of the pro-life student group Abolitionists4Life.

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represented the students, said that school officials required the preemptive warning signs, when Abolitionists4Life planned to use abortion images for two events on campus.

The first event used graphic photos of abortions and the second event used an autopsy photo of a woman that had died after having an abortion.

Abortion Autopsy Photo SafeandLegal S&LInside-true-face

That dead abortion patient’s autopsy picture was first published by the Texas pro-life group, Life Dynamics, on their website, after the victim’s mother requested it be made public.

According to the ADF, the school’s policy discriminated against the pro-life club but did not apply other groups, including Planned Parenthood, which held events at the school.

ADF said that the university also prohibited the group from distributing fliers outside one of the school’s eight speech zones, which together are limited to less than one percent of the entire campus.

Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker.


“We commend Boise State University for acknowledging this by revising its speech policy so that students can speak more freely throughout campus without fear of punishment.”

In addition to changing their policy to allow free speech to pro-life groups, the University has agreed to pay $20,000 in damages plus attorney fees.

“Pro-life students should not be discriminated against or censored because university officials do not agree with their viewpoints,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, which works with Abolitionists4Life.

“Pro-life students have every right to host events on campus as does any other student. Universities are supposed to be beacons of free speech and tolerance, not discriminatory havens of censorship where the only views tolerated are those of liberal administrators.”

Read other cases involving the free speech of pro-life students here.

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