PITTSBURGH The city of Pittsburgh has settled a lawsuit filed by an abortion protester who claimed a 2005 city ordinance illegally restricted leafleting and free speech by protesters.
Protester Mary K. Brown sued claiming the city’s combination of a “buffer zone,” which kept protesters at least 15 feet from clinic entrances, and a “bubble zone,” which kept protesters at least 8 feet from abortion clients, was illegal. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in 2009, and the city has since decided to enforce only the buffer zone around clinic entrances and has been training its police on how to enforce that limit.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, city officials also have paid Brown more than $330,000 in attorneys fees.
Brown and the Alliance Defense Fund had argued that the combination of buffer and bubble zones kept protesters too far away from clients to hand them anti-abortion leaflets and to conduct conversations about abortion without having to shout.