Thursday, June 23, 2016

7th Circuit: Bus Company Wrongly Refused Ad From Pro-Life Health Link

In Women's Health Link, Inc. v. Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corp., (7th Cir., June 22, 2016), the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Fort Wayne's Citilink wrongly refused to accept an ad that Women's Health Link wanted to place on city buses. Citilink's rules bar ads that "express or advocate opinions or positions upon political, religious, or moral issues."  The proposed ad did not express any such opinion or position, but the health care referral service it advertised is pro-life and so urges alternatives to abortion.  The court held that Citilink's rules are limited to ad content, and do not relate to the advertiser's underlying policies or material that may be on the advertiser's website. It concluded: "Citilink’s refusal to post the ad was groundless discrimination against constitutionally protected speech." Reuters reports on the decision.