Thomas More Society Thanks the American Civil Liberties for Telling Chicago City Council: VOTE 'NO' on Speech Suppression of Pro-Life Activists 

by Martin Barillas Tuesday, October 06, 2009
To: National Desk
Contact: Peter Breen,
Executive Director & Legal Counsel,
Thomas More Society,
312-782-1680;

Tom Ciesielka,
TC Public Relations,
312-422-1333,
tc@tcpr.net


Thomas More Society Thanks the American Civil Liberties for Telling Chicago City Council: VOTE 'NO' on Speech Suppression of Pro-Life Activists

CHICAGO, Oct. 6 /ImpactWire/ -- Last week the tide turned against free speech when Chicago's leaders targeted pro-life advocates with a municipal ordinance that would restrict their speech rights and prevent them from helping women going to area abortion centers. Within 50 feet of an abortion clinic, the ordinance imposes an 8-foot "cone of silence" that prevents anyone from coming within 8 feet to speak to or pass a leaflet to a person near an abortion clinic, with a $500 fine imposed for violating the ordinance. The Thomas More Society believes this ordinance is aimed at persons who seek to offer help and support with a woman's pregnancy at abortion clinics, because a substantial number of women at Chicago- area abortion clinics who are offered assistance with their pregnancies accept that help and choose to have their children.

Even though the organization supports abortion rights, the ACLU of Illinois has issued a statement that made clear that the Chicago Council "...must honor the Constitution and tolerate the widest amount of free speech in public ways." The Chicago-based Thomas More Society applauds the ACLU for standing up for the free speech rights of all Americans, regardless of their position on abortion.

"This sort of peaceful and lawful conduct on public sidewalks in front of abortion clinics is protected by the First Amendment. We thank the ACLU for joining us in opposing this ill-conceived ordinance," said Peter Breen, Executive Director & Legal Counsel, Thomas More Society, who testified in opposition to the measure before the Chicago City Council's Committee on Human Relations.

Contacts:
Peter Breen, Executive Director & Legal Counsel,
Thomas More Society 312-782-1680

Tom Ciesielka, TC Public Relations
312-422-1333, tc@tcpr.net

About the Thomas More Society
The Thomas More Society is a public interest law firm that counsels and defends those who work to protect innocent human life, defends those who proclaim faith-based values in our nation's public square, and strives to protect the institution of marriage as a union of man and woman formed to beget, bear and nurture new human lives. For more information, please visit: www.thomasmoresociety.org.


1    submitted by Martin Barillas
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