The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project filed a lawsuit to challenge ordinances in seven cities in east Texas that prohibit abortion providers and advocates from working and associating freely within their city limits.
The plaintiffs in the case include two organizations — Lilith Fund and Texas Equal Access Fund (TEA Fund) — labeled “criminal entities” by the seven cities for their pro-abortion views and advocacy work. Both organizations support people who need abortions and advocate for the right to access abortion.
The lawsuit claims that the ordinances violate Lilith Fund’s and TEA Fund’s right to free expression and association protected under the First Amendment. It further asserts that by designating them “criminal entities” and barring them from doing their work in these cities, the ordinances illegally impose punishment and unlawfully discriminate against their speech because of the organizations' pro-abortion viewpoints.
Update (5/26/20): In direct response to our lawsuit, all seven cities backed down and changed their ordinances by removing all of the parts the challenge sought to address. Each local ordinance now makes it clear that abortion providers and advocates have the right to perform abortion-related advocacy work in these communities.