Anti-abortion group claims victory in Chicago 'bubble zone' suit
The Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based nonprofit law firm, has reached a settlement in a case involving anti-abortion groups challenging Chicago’s “bubble zone” ordinance regarding abortion clinics, according to a press release.
The ordinance sets a 50-foot radius from an abortion facilities’ entrance door within which anyone engaging in a covered act – "passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education or counseling with" – is barred from getting closer than 8 feet to another person unless that person consents.
On behalf of the Pro-Life Action League, Live Pro-Life Group and anti-abortion counselors, the Thomas More Society filed suit in August claiming the city's misapplied the ordinance.
"A primary issue has been that Chicago police officers erratically applied the ordinance against them, by, for example, requiring sidewalk counselors to stay 50 feet away from a clinic entrance door," the press release said. "The police also selectively enforced the ordinance against sidewalk counselors but not against abortion clinic escorts."
As a result of the settlement, law enforcement officers will be required to receive training on specifics of the ordinance.