‘It’s a scientific fact that unborn babies are just as human as the newborn babies we cherish…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) After months of litigation, a pro-life advocacy group won the right to advertise on government-owned buses in Indiana.
CityBus has always displayed paid advertisements on their vehicles, but when Tippecanoe County Right to Life tried to run an ad about abortion, the bus service rejected it after determining that it was political in nature.
“When the government creates an opportunity for advertising on countless topics, it cannot unreasonably single out life-affirming, educational message for censorship. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all people, regardless of their beliefs,” said Samuel Green, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal nonprofit that represented Tippecanoe County Right to Life.
After Tippecanoe County Right to Life took CityBus to court for unlawful discrimination, the government-run transportation agency agreed to run the ad and change its advertising policy so that other groups won’t be rejected in the future.
“It’s a scientific fact that unborn babies are just as human as the newborn babies we cherish, and Tippecanoe County Right to Life’s ad shares that truth in a compelling way,” Green said in a statement.
The ad paid for by Tippecanoe County Right to Life contained three images.
The first two are ultrasounds of unborn children, with the word “ME” displayed over each.
The third picture shows a newborn baby in a blanket, with “STILL ME” written above.
Tippecanoe County Right to Life argued that CityBus had displayed political advertisements on their vehicles before, including ads that depicted a “healthcare crisis” in the state, and ads that encouraged people to “pump some democracy.”
“We are thankful that CityBus is now allowing this educational message to reach people as they study, shop, and commute. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all people, regardless of their beliefs or their viewpoint,” Green said.