Banning abortion will lead to free speech issues, law professor argues

A law professor argued in an op-ed that conservatives control speech when it concerns abortion.

Campus Reform has reported on numerous incidents of leftists cracking down on pro-life speech.

Mitchell Hamline School of Law (MH) adjunct professor Lisa Needham argued in an op-ed for Rewire News Group that conservatives control speech when it concerns abortion. 

“With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, conservatives scored a victory decades in the making: controlling pregnant people’s bodies. They’re not satisfied with just that, though. The next step is to control any speech they don’t like,” Needham opined in her piece, titled “Abortion Bans Are Creating Free Speech Battles in Schools.”

[RELATED: Professor promises to help students access abortion despite state law]

Needham specifically called out Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), who is on track to become the next president of the University of Florida. 

“Sasse is a big fan of ‘religious liberty’ when it comes to dismantling the line between church and state, so his hiring likely doesn’t bode well for a university already under siege by conservative elected officials,” Needham wrote. 

Needham drew a line that when “you control what people can do, it’s just a short hop to controlling what they can say.”

She concluded by alleging the conservatives only protect their own speech.

[M]odern conservatism has become very comfortable with ‘free speech for me, but not for thee,’ and they’ve captured enough of the federal courts that they’ll continue to get their way,” Needham argued. “Meanwhile, expect more public university systems in red states to start being tentative, worried, and self-censored when talking about reproductive rights or racial justice.”

MH School of Law is located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

[RELATED: Free speech has ‘real world implications,’ editorial board argues]

Despite Needham’s claims, Campus Reform has reported on numerous instances in which leftists used the topic of abortion to silence conservative students on campus.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president, for example, issued an executive order in July which barred the executive branch from funding pro-life organizations.

On Oct. 18, Campus Reform reported on a pro-abortion student at the University of Missouri who told members of a pro-life student organization to “kill themselves.”

Just a few days prior, it was reported that a pro-abortion protestor was arrested at the Washington D.C. Women’s March for harassing pro-life activists. 

A pro-life student group at American University canceled an event at the beginning of the semester due to safety concerns, Campus Reform reported.

Campus Reform reached out to MH School of Law and Needham for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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