Our friends at Created Equal are sounding the alarm on H.B. 408, a bill proposed in Ohio they warn would essentially create “censorship zones” around abortion facilities, threatening legal penalties against any pro-lifer who dares to exercise his or her First Amendment right to protest abortion.
The legislation provides that “Any employee of a health care facility who is subjected to harassment or intimidation may commence a civil action for” not only reasonable grievances such as physical injury or property damage (which are already illegal), but also “harassment,” which the bill defines as:
[A] knowing and willful course of conduct that is directed at one or more employees of a health care facility, that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed, or harassed, that in fact seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the employee or employees, and that serves no legitimate purpose.
Any pro-lifer who runs afoul of the statute within fifteen feet of the property would be “liable to the plaintiff for damages in the amount of five thousand dollars.”