Thursday, September 01, 2016

Court Refuses To Dismiss Abortion Buffer Zone Challenge, But Denies Preliminary Injunction

In Reilly v. City of Harrisburg, (MD PA, Aug. 31, 2016), a Pennsylvania federal district court refused to grant a preliminary injunction to bar enforcement of a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania ordinance that provides for a 20-foot buffer zone around health care facilities to protect women seeking to access to abortion clinics from picketers and sidewalk counselors.  The court however refused to dismiss some of plaintiffs' challenges to the law.  In particular the court allowed plaintiffs to move ahead with their claims that the ordinance is not narrowly tailored and that it is overbroad.  The court rejected several other challenges including free exercise, vagueness and prior restraint claims.