Trial Begins Today in Pro-Life Free Speech Case

Today is the first day of a three-day federal trial in the case of The Radiance Foundation v. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Coincidentally, it also happens to be International Human Rights Day. The pro-life movement fights every day for the rights of the preborn. This case serves as a sad reminder that in the process, we often must fight for our own rights as well.

The Radiance Foundation is a
pro-life group led by Ryan Bomberger (right). Bomberger is a vocal critic of the NAACP. In particular, he criticizes its support for abortion and alliance with national abortion groups. In the course of this criticism, Bomberger created videos and graphics referring to the NAACP as the “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People.” [Update: To clarify, Bomberger’s criticism was not limited to videos and graphics. This LifeNews article in particular appears to have rankled the NAACP.]

The NAACP then sued the Radiance Foundation for trademark infringement.

Bomberger argues (in my opinion as an attorney, correctly) that his political satire is not trademark infringement, and has counter-sued for a judicial determination of the Radiance Foundation’s free speech rights.

The First Amendment has long protected parody and satire. Perhaps you’ve seen this entertaining Tumblr full of altered corporate logos:

Pictured: Not a federal case.

And when the speech in question is about a political subject, which the Radiance Foundation’s speech clearly is, the First Amendment protection is even greater.

The sad thing is that the NAACP used to be a First Amendment champion. In fact, one of the landmark Supreme Court cases on the freedom of association is National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama, in which the NAACP successfully protected its members’ right to remain anonymous (an important consideration for NAACP supporters in Alabama in the 1950s, for obvious reasons).

Now, the organization that once boldly stood for equality and freedom has been corrupted by opposition to the basic human rights of the most vulnerable members of the human family, and with it, the pro-choice movement’s love of censorship. They could certainly use some constructive criticism. But whether they use it or not, Bomberger will continue to offer it!

25 thoughts on “Trial Begins Today in Pro-Life Free Speech Case”

  1. The reason why Ryan is being sued is because of an article he wrote at LifeNews highlighting the NAACP's pro-abortion position.

  2. Who would have thought that the NAACP would take issue with having its own trademark and logo used to characterize the organization as a bunch of racist baby-killers?

    Here's a suggestion. If you don't want to be characterized as a hate group, dial back the extremist rhetoric a couple of notches.

  3. Characterization is one thing: NAACP is free to express their disapproval.

    Suing for trademark violation is a completely different story. They have no ground to stand on with the 1st Amendment in place.

  4. extremist rhetoric?

    you were saying?

    pendulum swings both ways.

  5. The NAACP took the position that abortion is morally acceptable, then when Mr. Bomberger pointed out this position they denied that they have a position on abortion. They have also been closely allied with Planned Parenthood and big abortion.

    The NAACP supports abortion for any reason for anyone including support for the abortion of African American children. If they do not like being characterized as supporting the destruction of innocent children perhaps the best solution is to quit supporting or better yet start opposing this destruction of life.

  6. See, I'd rather give women the benefit of the doubt as to whether they want to undergo pregnancy and childbirth. Should they be forced to do so against their will?

    I have two children of my own. I know the difference between a child and a fertilized egg.

  7. Yeah I would rather that no woman would ever have to undergo pregnancy and childbirth if she did not wish to be pregnant. However once the life of her child has began, the options remaining are ending the child's life before birth or giving the child the right to live.

    Without the right to life what rights do any of us have? How can one have the right to liberty if ones life is not protected?

  8. As Vita said, I'd rather no one be forced through pregnancy either. It's definitely a lesser of two evils situation. And yes there's quite a developmental difference between an embryo and a toddler (or toddler and teenager, etc.).

    But that doesn't change the fact that you have to kill a human being to end pregnancy. But that human being deserves human rights, particularly the right to life, regardless of his/her developmental level.

  9. once the life of her child has began, the options remaining are ending the child's life before birth or giving the child the right to live.

    No, the choice is between terminating the pregnancy before the child is even born, or forcing the woman to undergo pregnancy and childbirth against her will.

  10. But that doesn't change the fact that you have to kill a human being to end pregnancy.

    Evidently your definition of a fact differs vastly from mine.

    A human being who hasn't been born yet, who is still developing inside a woman's body, isn't due the same rights as the rest of us. The woman is an important distinction, to those of us who think they deserve to be considered relevant in the matter and not ignored and dehumanized.

  11. Vita, when do you feel that a woman loses her humanity and becomes just a vague location for the fetus? It seems like you're okay with making her rights completely irrelevant in matters that involve her physical person.

  12. Why do you believe that the right to life is less important than the right to absolute bodily integrity? Why do you believe that requiring a woman to be responsible for the child that she has created is demeaning to her humanity? After all, we require men who consent to sex to pay for 18+ years of mandatory child support…equal rights means equal responsibility.

  13. The responsibility is the woman's, Tullia, to decide whether or not to bring a child into the world. As the father of two, I wish every woman who got pregnant would be ready, willing, and able to have the child. But life's not like that, and we should stop pretending we're being virtuous for making family planning decisions for complete strangers.

  14. Tullia, I keep saying that there's a valid distinction to be made between a zygote and a newborn. It's called a woman.

    How I wish I didn't have to point this out on a daily basis.

  15. Using your logic, we could say that the responsibility is the man's as to whether or not he pays child support. Except it is not, the law mandates that he pay up, whether or not he wants the child or is willing to become a father. Aren't we making family planning decisions for complete strangers when we criminalize infanticide? After all, I know people who regretting becoming parents shortly after the child's birth…and there are a significant amount of bioethicists who believe that infants aren't persons.

  16. The distinction is the difference in size, level of development, and degree of dependency. Should human beings have more or less rights based on size? Should a newborn have less of a right to life than me because I am more developed? What about conjoined twins who cannot be separated? Do they not have a right to life based on their complete dependency?

  17. Those arguments are all beside the point. I'm talking about a fetus inside its mother's body, not an infant. Like I said, I have two kids of my own and I know the difference.

    The woman.

    The woman isn't just a location for the fetus, She is a human being with rights. She has a life, responsibilities, and circumstances we should respect. If she wants to bring a child into the world, that's great. If not, that's her responsibility.

  18. Tullia, once again you have ignored the distinction I made. The point isn't the size of the fetus, it's the mother.

    Did you read that? Is that clear?

    As usual, pro-lifers erase the woman from the entire matter, because she's not important to them.

  19. Both the fetus and woman are human beings (not sure what "fact" I ignored, since you didn't elaborate). Yes a fetus gestates in a woman's body.

    I don't see how that gives the woman the right to kill her child. You just asserted it does without explaining.

  20. Why do you keep bringing up your own two children? Why are they revelant to your pro-choice stance? Most parents that I know are extremely pro-life-one even changed her mind about abortion after seeing the first trimester ultrasound of her son…but I don't feel the need to trot out personal characteristics, such as my female gender and disabled status, to make an argument. Simply put, who I am and my life experiences are irrevelant. All that matters is what I'm saying.


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