ADF International

Legal Matters

Walker v. Fraser, Michelle

Date of most recent action: 21 Mar 2017

Pro-life advocate campaigning to defend her right to speak freely


What’s at Stake

Freedom of speech

Summary

Pro-life advocate Michelle Fraser was criminally charged for displaying signs that depict the reality of abortion. Fraser was protesting outside the Fertility Clinic in East Melbourne, Australia, by holding two pictures of aborted foetuses obtained from a public library. ‘This is your choice’ was written on one picture, and ‘Blood Money’ on the other.

A clinic employee complained to the police, who demanded that Fraser put away the photographs. She refused and was later charged with displaying an obscene figure in a public place.

The Magistrates’ Court in Australia convicted Fraser, who appealed to the Victorian County Court, which also found her guilty. An ADF International allied lawyer represented Fraser when the case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Victoria, which upheld the lower courts’ ruling, finding that the photographs were obscene because they were ‘disgusting’.

With this ruling, the Victorian Supreme Court struck a crucial blow to freedom of speech.

Our Role in the Case

ADF International provided funding to an allied lawyer representing Fraser.

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Faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.