A small group of pro-lifers from Pittsburgh challenged the city’s buffer zone Wednesday in front of a federal judge.
The city has a 15-foot buffer zone around abortion centers that prevents pro-lifers from peacefully counseling women about alternatives to abortion. Sidewalk counselors often serve as the last line of hope for preborn babies and their mothers before an abortion appointment.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Nikki Bruni of Verona testified that while she “occasionally” is able to get her message across to women entering the Planned Parenthood location on Liberty Avenue, Downtown, the yellow, spray-painted buffer zone restricts her and others from having in-depth conversations with women about alternatives to abortion.
Bruni, campaign director of 40 Days for Life in Pittsburgh, a twice-a-year, anti-abortion event, said Planned Parenthood security guards prevent demonstrators from entering the zone, even if it is to walk across to get to the other side.
… U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon heard more than three hours of testimony and arguments before giving both sides until Dec. 19 to reach a compromise. If they can’t, the attorneys will have 30 days to file legal arguments before she rules.
Women deserve to know all the facts about abortion and its alternatives. Buffer zones are damaging, not only because they restrict pro-lifers’ freedom of speech, but also because they restrict women’s rights to hear about alternatives to abortion.