City of Madison cracks down on pro-life speech; lawsuit filed
Last night the City of Madison passed a buffer zone ordinance designed to crack down on free speech of pro-life prayer volunteers and sidewalk counselors. From the Wisconsin State Journal:
The ordinance from Ald. Lisa Subeck, 1st District, is a response to continued protests at Planned Parenthood’s East Side clinic....It creates a protective zone within 160 feet of health clinics to allow patients and others to enter and exit without obstruction. It also bans protesters from being within 8 feet of a person — unless the person consents — to engage in oral protest, education, counseling, passing leaflets or handbills, or displaying signs if on a public way or sidewalk within the 160-foot-protective zone.Subeck previously worked for NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. Her ties to the abortion industry have largely been downplayed in the Madison media.
This morning, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction on behalf of local pro-lifers. The list of plaintiffs features a "who's who" of state and local pro-life advocates including Madison Vigil for Life, Inc. (and two of its volunteers), Jennifer Dunnett of the Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Theresa Klinkhammer and Connie Nielsen of St. Ambrose Academy's Guardians for Life, Students for Life of Madison, the "other" Badger Catholic (the University of Wisconsin-Madison Catholic organization), Fr. Rick Heilman of the Knights of Divine Mercy and others.
Matt Bowman of the Alliance Defending Freedom successfully represented local pro-life medical professionals and pro-life advocates in 2009-10 when the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics attempted to install a late-term abortion facility near the UW-Madison campus. Bowman and the ADF also represented the UW Badger Catholic student group when UW-Madison violated the organization's free speech rights, ultimately collecting nearly half a million dollars in attorney's fees.