Coalition Life v. City of Carbondale, Illinois

Photo credit: Les O'Dell - The Southern Illinoisan
Client Name:
Coalition Life
Lawsuit Filed:
May 16, 2023
Case Status
On Appeal

On behalf of Coalition Life, Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit in May 2023 against the City of Carbondale, Illinois—challenging the city’s restrictive 100-foot bubble zone ordinance. 

Coalition Life volunteers regularly gather outside of Carbondale’s abortion businesses to pray, sidewalk counsel, and share their life-affirming message. Carbondale, a southern Illinois college town, has become a major abortion battleground since the overturn of Roe—as the abortion industry seeks to turn southern Illinois into an abortion hub for a third of the country.

Despite only targeting pro-life activity at the city’s abortion businesses, the Carbondale ordinance extends to all healthcare facilities in the city. Carbondale boasts some 153 “hospitals, medical clinics, or healthcare facilities,” all of which now have 100-foot radius no-speech zones outside them, because of the bubble zone ordinance. “This is an unconstitutional and overzealous attempt to show favor to abortion vendors, at the expense of the free speech rights of folks in Carbondale and neighboring communities,” said Peter Breen.

“This ordinance is an attempt to silence us and is a direct assault on our civil rights,” said Brian Westbrook, Executive Director of Coalition Life. “We are taking a stand to protect our ability to remain on public property and offer assistance to those that need it. It’s that simple.” The case is now on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 


Case Documents & Updates


View recent press releases related to the case

Press release announcing lawsuit on behalf of Coalition Life against Carbondale, Illinois challenging the city's bubble zone ordinance.

VIDEO: Press conference upon filing Coalition Life v. Carbondale.


View recent media appearances related to the case

The Southern Illinoisan | Watch Now: Pro-life group sues Carbondale over "Bubble Zone" ordinance

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Lawsuit by anti-abortion group challenges Carbondale ordinance creating clinic buffer zone

Case Timeline

View documents related to the case