To those who work and pray for an end to abortion and—ultimately—a reversal of Roe v. Wade, nothing means more than tangible proof that God is really using the efforts of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and its allies to restore a deeper respect for life in our nation. Happily, this month has already brought two clear evidences of how we are winning back America’s legal culture.
In Elgin, Ill., city officials have been trying to use local zoning codes to shut down young women’s access to TLC Pregnancy Services, a mobile ultrasound facility sponsored by Life Center. Last summer, a member of the City Council decided the facility was “an eyesore” and led the council to reclassify its two locations as being for “temporary land use” only—which would only have allowed the facility to offer ultrasounds four times a year at each location.
On Thursday, a federal court declared Elgin’s new zoning code unconstitutional, saying, “It must be recognized that the city is preventing Life Center from being able to effectively provide pregnant women in the city with needed medical care that could identify issues and save lives of unborn children. Life Center has, in fact, provided evidence that it has helped a multitude of young women who have used the services at the mobile facility.”
“Women deserve access to the help they need for themselves and their unborn children without undue interference from the government,” says ADF senior counsel Steven H. Aden, who joined with lead allied attorneys from the Chicago firm Mauck & Baker, LLC, to represent Life Center. “Life Center’s free services help both the city and its citizens, so the city’s actions have been both counterproductive and unconstitutional.”
Earlier this month, a new report from the Arizona Department of Health Services revealed a 7.4 percent drop in the number of abortions performed in that state between 2011 and 2012. That drop may be attributed in large part to an Abortion Consent Act, passed by the legislature at the urging of our allies at the Center for Arizona Policy and successfully defended in federal and state court by ADF attorneys.
The law stopped Planned Parenthood from using nurses to commit surgical abortions, forced that company to provide women with full and accurate information about what abortion really is at least 24 hours before the abortion, required Planned Parenthood workers to get notarized parental consent for minors seeking abortions, and protected health care workers from having to help commit abortions. Our successful legal defense of the new law prompted Arizona Planned Parenthood to stop offering abortion services at numerous locations around the state.
“Every innocent life deserves to be protected,” says Aden, “and Arizona lawmakers should be commended for implementing these laws. The profit of abortionists should not come before common-sense rules that save babies in the womb while protecting the health of women and providing them with the information they need to make informed choices.”
Alan Sears is president, CEO and general counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.