Activism

Pro-life organizations fight back against buffer zone ordinance in Kentucky

Texas, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, pro-life

Two pro-life organizations have filed a lawsuit against a new buffer zone ordinance in Louisville, Kentucky, that they say violates their freedom of speech and blocks them from practicing their faith.

Sisters for Life and the Kentucky Right to Life Association are asking for injunctive relief in their suit in the U.S. District Court, according to The Sentinel Echo. The ordinance, which the Metro Council passed in a 14-11 vote on May 20, prohibits the organizations from ministering to women for half a city block that has been deemed a buffer zone in front of EMW Women’s Surgical Center. However, the ordinance will not be enforced until July 16, to allow the attorneys time to complete their briefings. The lawsuit was filed against Louisville Metro, Mayor Greg Fisher, Louisville Metro Police Chief Ericka Shields, and Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell.

“I consider this a win in the first round because it allows the ministry to continue,” said Attorney Christ Wiest, who is representing Sisters for Life and Kentucky Right to Life.

Sisters for Life said it ministers to women at the abortion facility on a regular basis, helping them to choose life for their preborn children. The group also said it will continue to do so despite the ordinance, so that it can continue to inform women of their other, pro-life, options including adoption, free housing during and after pregnancy, free child care, free help with college tuition, and resources including diapers, formula, clothing, parenting classes, and more.

READ: Pro-life group buys parking lot across from abortion clinic amid threat of buffer zone

EMW Women’s Surgical Center was caught failing to report the possible sexual abuse of a minor during a 2010 Live Action undercover investigation. The center’s second Kentucky abortion facility in Lexington shut down in 2017 after it was caught operating without a license. An inspection also revealed that the clinic had “dirty conditions and expired medicines.” The staff failed to document training, failed to properly store narcotic medications, had dried blood on a sharps container in a treatment room, and had expired medications and supplies on hand. One patient alleged she was given an abortion in the basement, where women were lined up like cattle with little privacy or dignity.

Pro-life sidewalk counselors are present outside abortion facilities in order to help women receive other options and to spare preborn children from a violent death, and the EMW clinic in Louisville was the scene of a pro-abortion assault on an 82-year-old pro-life activist in recent years. Janaya Alyce Gregory, 32, was caught on camera pushing Donna Durning to the ground in April 2019. Durning was hospitalized with a broken femur and a cut to her head. She required surgery and physical rehabilitation.

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