Austin Texas – Legal battles were not supposed to be part of the job description. But, as Austin LifeCare’s Executive Director, Pam Cobern, kept reading the City of Austin’s new ordinance, she knew her responsibilities were about to grow.
Activist city officials were requiring negative and false signs to be placed outside pregnancy centers. This, combined with the law’s vague wording, gave city officials dangerous and near-limitless power to single out and unjustly punish all Austin pregnancy centers.
Pam immediately saw this for what it was – an activist government’s attempt to further their own ideology, while simultaneously limiting pregnancy center’s ability to serve women.
It was much more than a sign ordinance.
It was a direct attack on their rights and effectiveness.
That’s when she turned to Texas Center for the Defense of Life.
After advising Austin LifeCare about their options, TCDL filed a suit against the City of Austin. The suit eventually made its way into Federal District Court. For the next three years, TCDL lawyers argued against the city’s activist and punitive ordinances, citing the city’s gross infringement of pregnancy center’s freedom of speech.
In the end, the court ruled that the ordinance was illegal and had it struck down. This victory ensures pregnancy centers will continue to operate without fear of being unjustly punished by city governments. It also helped lay legal groundwork for many other centers nationwide.
If you or your group is being threatened by punitive laws, contact the Texas Center for the Defence of Life. They will help advise you on your rights and possible legal action.