Pro-life activists are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the City of Pittsburgh's censorship-zone law.
"We're asking the Supreme Court to uphold the right of free speech because the right of free speech is for everyone, and not just for those in power," says attorney Elissa Graves of Alliance Defending Freedom, the law firm representing the pro-lifers who refer to themselves as sidewalk counselors.
This is the second time ADF has challenged the Pittsburgh buffer zone. The first was in 2009.
ADF also helped in a similar case, McMullen v Coakley, which involved a 35-foot buffer zone in Massachusetts. That legal fight concluded with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2014 that struck down the ban.
“The government cannot silence speakers just because it doesn't like what they say,” Graves insists, “but that's what Pittsburgh has done here…”
Pittsburgh’s law does allow for most one-on-one conversations, such as people chatting about the weather or talking about a sports team, and ADF says clinic escorts can talk to the women they are taking into the abortion clinic but the pro-lifers are not allowed by law to speak to those women at all.
"Under the First Amendment, which applies to all Americans,” Graves says, “we all have the right to free speech, and no one in the government can deny that right.”