We don’t have victory yet, but the no free speech zone in Maine is now being assaulted. As reported in LifeNews.com,
The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm, based in Ann Arbor, MI, filed a federal lawsuit yesterday challenging Portland, Maine’s Ordinance 17-108, which creates a 39-foot “buffer zone” around Portland’s one abortion clinic, Portland Health Center which is run by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Portland attorney, Stephen C. Whiting, is local co-counsel in the case.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Daniel and Marguerite Fitzgerald and two of their high-school aged children. They are Evangelical Christians who have been praying, counseling and offering pregnancy resource literature outside of the abortion facility for over a year prior to the enactment of the ordinance.
Their counseling activities are motivated by their religious beliefs that abortion is the deliberate destruction of innocent human life. Close proximity to the abortion clinic is important to the Fitzgerald’s as it permits them to speak to those thinking about an abortion in a normal conversational tone and offer them alternatives including adoption, and financial and emotional support.
The lawsuit claims that the city ordinance was enacted to prevent pro-life speech near abortion clinics. The ordinance was enacted as an “emergency measure” by Portland’s City Council on November 18, 2013.
I can’t reasonably predict how this case will go in the Federal Courts because these courts are not reliable. I know this for the same reason that I am optimistic that the cause of free speech and the First Amendment will be triumphant. The Supreme Court recently struck down the “buffer zone” in Massachussetts by a unanimous decision.
Hopefully, the Federal Courts will take the precedent of the Supreme Court decision seriously and not waste everyone’s time by forcing the case to go back to them.
Of course, nothing in the future is certain, except that God is in control. So pray for this case!