High Court Affirms Pro-Life Speech
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law creating a 35-foot anti-speech zone around abortion facilities. ADF Allied Attorney Michael DePrimo successfully argued that the zone’s unconstitutional effect was to block advocates for life from quietly conversing with women on their way into these buildings to have an abortion. (The law imposed up to two-and-a-half years in jail for its violation.)
The court ruled that those who would lovingly invite women to choose life face-to-face are legally entitled to do so, up until the moment a woman enters the abortion facility’s property.
The high court’s decision affirms that “The government cannot muzzle speech just because abortionists want to silence it,” says ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman.
This crucial ruling is already having a domino effect on other cases. On July 23, after the decision, ADF attorneys and allies in New Hampshire secured a court order blocking the creation of 25-foot censorship zones designed to keep anyone from speaking, standing, or entering public sidewalks outside abortion facilities. On August 5, after another ADF lawsuit, the city of Madison, Wisconsin voted to rescind a law that had created hundreds of 200-foot “bubble zones” around any entrance in the city that might be used by professionals offering medical services.