When a case revolves around Constitutional issues with abortion in the mix, judges face the difficult task of balancing the legal rights and responsibilities of everyone involved. Fourteen years ago, a more liberal Court upheld Colorado’s 8-foot “floating” buffer zones around individuals to protect patients and staff entering and exiting abortion clinics. The buffer zones have made it difficult for sidewalk counselors to engage in a meaningful conversation, and so the right to free speech on a public sidewalk is about to get another review.
Lead plaintiff Eleanor McCullen is a member of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, and also a part-time prison chaplain. As a sidewalk counselor, she wants only the chance to speak to a woman, to encourage her not to rush, and to let her know there are other options available to her. McCullen says she asks women to “just talk a minute before you rush in. You rush in so quickly, and then you come out in tears.”
The Supreme Court could open this door for sidewalk counselors like Eleanor to have effective communication with women who may not have any other clear, loving voice offering hope.
Please pray for Justices and the attorneys arguing today.
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