September 7, 2023

California Pays $192,706 to Settle Buffer Zone Lawsuit

Right to Life of Central California Sidewalk Counselors
California officials have agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against the state's buffer zone law by pro-life advocates.

California SB 742, which was signed into law by pro-abortion Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in 2021, prohibited certain speech within 100 feet of a "vaccination site." Prohibited actions include approaching a person for conversation without consent, moving toward someone while holding a sign, or offering written materials.

These prohibitions applied even if the speaker is on his own property if it is within 100 feet of a "vaccination site." This was a particular issue for Right to Life of Central California, which was situated next door to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. Because Planned Parenthood offers HPV vaccines, SB 742 prohibited Right to Life of Central California from offering pro-life resources on its own property.

Alliance Defending Freedom represented Right to Life of Central California in this case.

“Women facing unplanned pregnancies deserve to have full support and resources available to them when they choose life for their unborn children, yet the state of California unconstitutionally tried to silence the voices of those advocating on their behalf,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle. “This is a significant victory not only for our client, Right to Life, but for every other speaker in California. The First Amendment protects every Californian, regardless of their viewpoint. Now Right to Life’s staff and volunteers can continue their critical mission of serving vulnerable women in the central California region with their free, life-giving services.”

As part of the settlement, California officials are prohibited from enforcing discriminatory parts of SB 742 against Right to Life of Central California or any other speaker. The state will also pay $192,706 in attorney fees to Right to Life of Central California.