Court Denies Injunction but Keeps Alive Challenge to Abortion Buffer Zone Law

Sep 2, 2016

A Pennsylvania federal district court denied an injunction to block an abortion buffer zone law but has ruled the lawsuit may continue. The case, Reilly v. City of Harrisburg, challenges a Harrisburg buffer zone law. Liberty Counsel filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Harrisburg because its ordinance created unconstitutional buffer zones on public sidewalks and public property 20 feet away from abortion clinic entrances, exits and driveways.

In practice, this ordinance pushes sidewalk counselors away from having access to people using the public sidewalk and thus silences their speech. Liberty Counsel represents Becky Biter, Rosalie Gross and Colleen Reilly, who have regularly engaged in peaceful sidewalk counseling on the public sidewalks outside the Planned Parenthood and Hillcrest abortion facilities. Since the passage of the ordinance, they have been harassed and intimated by clinic staff and the local police.

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