On May 6th, pro-life advocates in New Jersey filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Englewood for preventing them from approaching women going into an abortion facility to tell them “God loves you and your baby.”
According to NewJersey.com, in 2014, the town adopted an ordinance that prohibiting pro-lifers from using the public sidewalk outside Metropolitan Medical associates to counsel women. The lawsuit claims that individuals aren’t allowed within eight feet of an entrance, exit or driveway of an abortion facility and that violators face up to $1,000 fine or a 90-day jail term.
One pro-lifer, Jeryl Turco, said that the ordinance violates her constitutional right of free speech. As a Christian volunteer, she said she believes that abortion is immoral because it takes the like of an innocent child. Turco has been praying and distributing literature at the facility for the past seven and a half years, and according to the lawsuit, Turco tells women, “We can help you. It’s never too late to change your mind.”
Turco is particularly upset that “escorts” from the abortion facility are allowed to use the same walkway that she’s forbidden from. The lawsuit states, “Prior to the enactment of the ordinance, Plaintiff would often have the opportunity to hand literature and rosary to women who were interested in receiving them and to engage in discussions in a conversational tone with them, as they walked along the public sidewalk in front of nearby buildings and in front of the abortion clinic.”
Ultimately, Turco is asking a federal judge to grant an injunction and declare the ordinance unconstitutional. As LifeNews previously reported, last year the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Massachusetts because the justices believed it was “inconsistent with the First Amendment” and it “restricts access to ‘public way[s]’ and ‘sidewalk[s],’ places that have traditionally been open for speech activities.”
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Unfortunately, when a woman walks into an abortion facility she may not find out that abortion has risks; or that the life growing with her already has a heartbeat, fingernails and a different genetic code than that of its mother. The problem is many abortion advocates aren’t really interested in protecting women. Their true desire is to silence the truth about abortion.
After the Supreme Court ruled that buffer zones was an infringement on freedom of speech, Judie Brown, President of American Life League said, “The abortion industry thrives in the United States because it continually lies to women. Side walk counselors are able to change minds and hearts by simply offering help to women in crisis situations.”