On June 22, 2016, a federal appeals court ruled that a Fort Wayne, Indiana bus system was wrong to ban ads from pro-life groups on city buses, reversing a January ruling that affirmed the ad ban.
The Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corp, Citilink, refused to run an ad from Women’s Health Link after learning of the group’s pro-life stance on abortion rights. Citilink determined that the ad fell under its ban on public service ads that advocate positions on political, religious, and moral issues.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that the ad ban was unconstitutional censorship. Circuit Judge Richard Posner stated that Citilink’s ad policy is limited to ad content and that the Women’s Health Link advertisement lacked any indication of political, religious, or moral agenda.
“We know that Health Link is pro-life, but nothing in the ad reveals that,” Posner wrote. “Citilink’s refusal to post the ad was groundless discrimination against constitutionally protected speech.”
Citilink has been directed to run the ad.