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Won U.S. Supreme Court

Madsen v. Women’s Health Center

A state court in Florida banned protestors from entering a 36-foot zone around the Aware Woman Center for Choice abortion facility.

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Summary

A state court in Florida banned protestors from entering a 36-foot zone around the Aware Woman Center for Choice abortion facility, using images that patients could see inside the facility, and approaching any patients within 300 feet of the facility unless the person indicates a desire to communicate. The protestors, led by Judy Madsen, appealed the decision and said that the court order violated their First Amendment rights.

The Florida Supreme Court upheld the court order, but with the help of funding from Alliance Defending Freedom, Madsen and her fellow protestors appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 30, 1994, the Court upheld the 36-foot “buffer zone” in the front of the building. However, it found that the 36-foot zone around the back and sides of the building, the ban on using images, and the 300-foot radius in which protestors could not approach patients were all too broad and illegally infringed on the First Amendment.

This was the first of 74 Supreme Court victories in which ADF played a role. Launched earlier that year in January 1994, ADF quickly got to work protecting the rights given to Americans by God and ensured by the Constitution, all the way to our nation’s highest court.

Case Documents

Court
Title
Date
U.S. Supreme Court
6/30/1994