PITTSBURGH — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have appealed a judge’s decision to allow a Pittsburgh ordinance prohibiting free speech around abortion clinics to continue to be enforced while a lawsuit challenging it moves forward in court. ADF attorneys represent a nurse prohibited from offering counsel to women in a public area near an abortion clinic.
“Christians shouldn’t be penalized for expressing their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “This ordinance is intended to silence pro-life speech only, but the First Amendment applies to everyone, including people who believe abortion is wrong. Our client simply wants to peacefully help hurting women. She should be allowed to do so while her lawsuit progresses.”
In 2005, the city of Pittsburgh enacted an ordinance that restricted access to public areas surrounding abortion clinics. The ordinance restricted the speech of Mary Kathryn Brown, a nurse who is pro-life, infringing on her constitutional rights, including her right to free speech. In March 2006, ADF attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brown, challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance.
ADF attorneys filed a motion for preliminary injunction in June 2006 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in the case, Brown v. City of Pittsburgh, asking the judge to allow Brown to speak in the area in question pending the outcome of her case, but the court denied the motion.
ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.