From the SFLA Blog

Free Speech Violations for Pro-Lifers Even Happen in the Workplace

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Dana Stancavage - 08 Dec 2022

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably no stranger to Students for Life Action (SFLAction) and Students for Life of America’s (SFLA) blogs where we often share the stories of free speech violations faced by our activists on high school and college campuses – it’s been a reoccurring theme this year.  

However, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal recently outlined an outrageous violation of free speech that an esteemed legal professional faced. Here’s how pro-life free speech is violated even in the workplace: 

There’s no limit to the lengths that abortion supporters will go to silence the pro-life movement when it comes to defending the preborn. According to the perspective of a former employee, global law firm Hogan Lovells showed their pro-abortion bias when they let pro-abortion voices be heard but were quick to silence one pro-lifer.  

Law firm backlash over abortion

The pro-lifer in question was Robin Keller, a retired equity partner of Hogan Lovells who still actively works with clients. 

In June, as the historic Dobbs v. Jackson decision came down to reverse the longstanding injustice of Roe v. Wade that killed more than 63 million babies, the law firm organized an online conference call for female employees. 

While the intent of such a call appears to be politically charged, Keller wrote in her op-ed that she was invited to participate in the call that they ensured would be a “safe space for women at the firm to discuss the [Dobbs] decision.” 

“It might have been a safe space for some, but it wasn’t safe for me,” Keller wrote. As the call took place, she quickly realized the ‘some’ that it was safe for were those who supported abortion and were dissatisfied with the Supreme Court ruling. 

Law firm backlash over abortion

She explains in the op-ed that many participated in the call voicing their anger and outrage, but it didn’t reflect the pro-life view that Keller held. She contributed to the conversation; it was, after all, advertised to employees as a safe space to do so. 

Keller boldly countered arguments with those of the jurists and commentators who have stated Roe was unconstitutional in its founding, and she agreed with the decision that it’s an issue belonging to the states. As Keller continued in her awesome pro-life apologetics, her following comments caused serious backlash:  

“I added that I thought abortion-rights advocates had brought much of the pushback against Roe on themselves by pushing for extreme policies. I referred to numerous reports of disproportionately high rates of abortion in the Black community, which some have called a form of genocide. I said I thought this was tragic.” 

Law firm backlash over abortion

While SFLAction and SFLA give her all the kudos for getting these facts right, her colleagues were quick to silence her view. Silenced or not, it remains: 

Shamefully, the following speaker on the call accused Keller of being racist for defending Black preborn children and demanded her to get off the call. (So much for the First Amendment.)  

She also noted that some colleagues put on theatrics by saying that they “lost their ability to breathe” after hearing her comments. Such a comment negates the real victim of abortion — the preborn — and that is who this conversation is about, after all.  

Law firm backlash over abortion

In the same day of the call, Keller had her contract suspended by the firm, her contact with clients was cut off, and she was removed from email and document databases. They even went as far as emailing the staff that anti-Black comments had been made on the Dobbs phone call. 

In an interview, the law firm said Keller’s comments on Black abortion rates being a genocide were in violation of the firm’s anti-harassment policy. Not only has this firm disgraced the 44-year record of a legal professional, but it has done more work to tarnish her name and silence her pro-life views than it has for real dialogue on the issue of abortion where all sides are heard. 

That’s something SFLA champions; we go to college campuses, State Houses, events, and every opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue on the injustice of abortion and the cruel realities of it to change the culture and to protect life.  

Sadly, Hogan Lovells chose to blacklist someone for having a different view; we hope they can learn and grow from this mistake because preborn lives are worth it.  

READ NEXT: Texas is Abortion-Free but Their Public Schools Are Still Censoring Pro-Life Students  

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