An attack on a pro-lifer is being used as ammunition by a local lawyer to advocate for unconstitutional “buffer zones” around Kentucky’s only abortion facility.
The incident in question occurred on April 12th (or 13th, according to other reports). As Live Action News previously reported, Donna Durning was standing outside EMW Women’s Surgical Center when a woman exited the facility, walking towards a car waiting by the entrance to the facility. “I had a little card from Little Way Crisis Pregnancy Center, and I just offered it to her. And I said, ‘Honey, if you need to talk to anybody, there’s a number on here,'” Durning told WLKY. Durning is a regular sidewalk counselor at the facility and has approached many women over her 23 years of reaching out to women seeking abortions.
The woman, who was in her 20s, then turned aggressive. “She just absolutely glared at me,” Durning told the Courier Journal. “She grabbed me by both of my shoulders and she simply, really, pitched me across the sidewalk. I landed on my left side and my left arm and my head.” Durning described the woman as having “a really, really evil look on her face and she used horrible, horrible language. I couldn’t even repeat it even if I’d heard all the words.” The incident, which was caught on video, left Durning with a head injury, and a broken femur that required surgery, leaving Durning’s femur full of pins.
Now, a Kentucky lawyer is brazenly trying to use the violent attack on Durning, a peaceful pro-life demonstrator, to limit the free speech of pro-lifers. “[The attack is] a perfect example of how quickly things can escalate in that environment and so it is better for people to keep their space,” said Laura Landenwich, who works on a committee to persuade the Louisville Metro Council to approve a “buffer zone” around the facility. “This is about everyone’s safety,” Landenwich claimed, according to WLKY. “This is about the safety of people protesting, entering the clinic, walking down the sidewalk.”
A “buffer zone” is an area around an abortion facility of a specific size in which pro-lifers must stand aside. The 2014 Supreme Court Case, McCullen v. Coakley, ruled the practice unconstitutional. The court declared that such zones discriminated only against one viewpoint and put an undue burden on free speech.
Police are currently investigating the incident at EMW as an assault and are searching for the individual seen in the video.
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