Mar 25, 2010 / 23:12 pm
The city of Aurora, Illinois has settled a lawsuit alleging it violated the First Amendment rights of protesters of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. Protesters had complained of conflicting legal advice from city officials and threats of mass arrests from the local police chief.
At one protest in 2007, police arrived on the scene with an armored paddy wagon and constant video surveillance, which protesters said was intimidating.
The settlement requires the city to amend two ordinances claimed to be unconstitutional, mandates First Amendment training for city police and establishes a grievance process to handle disputes between protesters and city officials, a press release from the Chicago-based Thomas More Society reports.
The Planned Parenthood facility opened in 2007 after covertly gaining approval for construction under the subsidiary name Gemini Office Development. It attracted over 1,000 protesters after citizens learned the building presented as an office complex was in fact an abortion clinic.