Abortion

Pro-Lifers to Sue Chicago Over Protest "Bubble Zone"

| by Jill Stanek

Last week the Chicago City Council approved an abortion clinic bubble zone "at the behest of Planned Parenthood," according to the Chicago Sun-Times, that:

... creates a protection zone within a 50-foot radius of the entrance to any hospital, medical clinic or health care facility. Within that zone, no one could get closer than 8 feet to pass materials, display signs, protest, educate or counsel another person without their consent.

Mayor Richard Daley, a Catholic pro-abort, says he'll sign the ordinance...

Daley said he anticipates a court challenge, but he's confident the ordinance drafted by his Law Department will stand up to legal scrutiny....

The Chicago law - which carries a $500 fine - is patterned after an even stricter CO law that already has passed muster with the U.S. Supreme Court. In CO, the buffer is 100 feet.

I spoke with Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League this morning as well as attorney Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society. Will they sue, I asked?

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

Yes. Pro-lifers plan to immediately sue to enjoin the bubble zone law once enacted.

The US Supreme Court did indeed uphold the CO case, Hill v. Colorado, in 2000. But Brejcha maintains the make-up of the court is different.

"Vehement dissent was written on that case by Justice Kennedy, the so-called swing vote," Brecha told me. "And David Souter is gone. In his place is Sonia Sotomayor, who ruled in favor of pro-lifers on the 2nd Circuit in a free speech case. All you need are 4 justices voting in agreement for a case to be heard by the Supreme Court."

But there are cards to play before getting to that point. Note the bubble zone will be in front of any "hospital, medical clinic or health care facility."

The Service Employees International Union, which frequently attempts to unionize employees as they enter and leave work in front of nonunion hospitals, is not going to like that. An SEIU rep even tried to persuade me as I was in my car leaving the parking garage at Christ Hospital once. Such is an unforeseen consequence, perhaps why the ACLU has come out in opposition to the Chicago bubble zone ordinance.

But the "ace in the hole," according to Brejcha, is the IL Labor Dispute Act, which gives union members the right to "picket[ ] the primary employer wherever they happen to be."

Incredibly, the Act goes so far as to allow "[t]he erection of tents or other temporary shelter for the health, welfare, personal safety, and well‑being of picketers... on the public right of way" so long as pedestrians can pass and emergency vehicles gain access. The Act even allows up to "10 vehicles on the public right of way."

According to the Act, any ordinance in violation of the IL Labor Dispute Act is voided. This would appear to include the abortion bubble zone ordinance.

Finally, there is the backatcha, according to Scheidler. "The Chicago bubble zone ordinance would work both ways. If I'm a sidewalk counselor, and I have been given permission by a woman to speak with her and am inside this 50-foot zone, deathscorts can't come within 8 feet of me."

Typically, deathscorts attempt to get between pregnant mothers entering abortion and pro-lifers talking to them.

Stay tuned. This ain't close to being over.

Read more on OpposingViews.com: New Chicago Ordinance Targets Abortion Protesters