Court Strikes Down ‘Buffer Zones’ Preventing Pro-Life Demonstrations

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Anti-abortion activists hold a moment of prayer during a protest outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic on January 20, 2022 in Washington, DC. The protest was organized by the Purple Sash Revolution and Priests for Life, calling for defunding and replacing of Planned Parenthood. On Friday, thousands of anti-abortion activists are expected in Washington, DC for the annual March For Life. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • A federal appeals court ruled in favor of two pro-life groups in Louisville, Ky., that filed a lawsuit challenging “buffer zones” created by the city to prevent pro-life groups from praying or demonstrating near abortion clinics.
  • The Louisville City Council passed an ordinance in May 2021 creating 10-foot-wide “buffer zones” around abortion clinics.
  •  The judges agreed with the Kentucky Right to Life (KRL) and Sisters for Life (SL) organizations who argued that their First Amendment rights were being stripped as a result of the city’s buffer zones prohibiting them from even praying outside the EMW Abortion clinic in Louisville.


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