Saturday, November 26, 2005

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Arguments on Honolulu’s Ban on Aerial Images of Aborted Fetuses

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments this week on whether Honolulu's ban on flying pictures of aborted fetuses over crowded beaches amounts to illegal censorship. The case was brought by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, a group opposed to abortion. The attorney for the group claimed that the explicit images cannot be replaced by other forms of advertisement. The group already drives trucks around Honolulu with giant photos of first-term aborted fetuses. U.S. District Chief Judge David Ezra had earlier upheld the ban.  The group argues the aerial ban not only violates its First Amendment rights of free speech but also prevents the group from reaching hundreds of thousands of beachgoers with their message. Jon Van Dyke, Honolulu’s special deputy counsel, said the group's name could be painted on a plane, but images are illegal because it constitutes advertising. He told the court that the proposed banners also would pollute Hawaii's natural beauty and make the island less appealing to tourists. Source: Alexandre Da Silva, Associated Press, azcentral.com. For more information, please click here (last visited November 26, 2005, reo).

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