Human Rights

Portland, Maine bans peaceful pro-life protest outside abortion centers


According to the Portland Sun Journal, on Monday the Portland City Council voted unanimously to adopt a 39-foot “buffer zone” or area in which pro-life supporters are not allowed to address clients walking into Planned Parenthood.  The Sun Journal reports that the vote was taken almost three and a half hours into the council meeting, and as a result of the vote, “an applause erupted from the audience, causing Mayor Michael Brennan to pound the gavel to restore order for the remainder of the agenda items.”

But what were those applauding so happy for?  For taking away the rights of freedom of speech so that pro-life protestors are not allowed within 39-feet of the abortion clinic?  Thirty-nine feet is a considerable distance.  Were they happy for allowing women seeking an abortion who have a right to hear the truth to enter the clinic without being told that they have other options?

Ed Suslovic, one of the council members, described this ban as a “very careful balancing act” putting the rights of freedom of speech against the right to health care (i.e., abortion).  But somehow all the council members believed that freedom of speech could take second chair to the right to enter an abortion clinic without hearing the truth.

The Portland Press Herald reports that ten to twenty-five protestors gather in front of the abortion clinic.  This has been going on for about a year, and there have been no arrests as a result of these pro-life proponents.  But yet the City Council believes this emergency measure was necessary, so necessary that it takes effect immediately.

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