The Pro-Life Action League has announced its intent to file suit on Tuesday against the City of Chicago, challenging the city’s ill-defined “bubble zone” law.
The law declares it illegal to approach within eight feet of someone moving towards an abortion clinic, once that person is within fifty feet of the entrance, unless the person grants permission.
While at first glance, the law may seem at least somewhat straightforward, there seems to be confusion about the exact nature of the bubble, not only among sidewalk counselors, but among Chicago police as well. Which entrance? Parking lot entrance? Front doors? Any entrance whatsoever?
According to Life Site News, Pro-Life Action League’s Eric Scheidler explained, “As soon as [the bubble zone] was enacted, it immediately began to be badly enforced by the police. It’s a confusing ordinance. Even to describe it is to sow confusion.”
In addition to the bubble zone being confusing and arguably unconstitutional (a similar law in Massachusetts was unanimously voted down by the US Supreme Court in 2014), it appears the law has been used to unjustly target pro-lifers.
Scheidler claims that police have threatened pro-life sidewalk counselors since the creation of the bubble zone, arresting three. All three cases were dismissed. One of those arrested was “literally a little old woman who was arrested for supposedly violating the bubble zone and hadn’t done a darn thing,” according to Scheidler.
While police have been “causing trouble” for pro-lifers exercising their right to free speech, they have not been enforcing the bubble zone against abortion supporters, according to Scheidler. “We have video evidence of this,” he said. The law is not “applied equally.”
According to Pro-Life Action League…
Pro-Life Action League staff and volunteers have been carefully gathering evidence of First Amendment violations by police wrongly applying the Bubble Zone ordinance, and now our attorneys at the Thomas More Society are ready to go to court.
To spread the word about the upcoming lawsuit, the Pro-Life Action League will hold a press conference and protest outside a Chicago Planned Parenthood on Tuesday.