PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A large crowd is expected when a Portland City Council committee holds a public hearing on proposals to establish a buffer zone around a Planned Parenthood facility.
One proposal would create a 25-foot buffer around the Congress Street clinic’s entrance. The other would effectively ban demonstrators from gathering on the Congress Street and Elm Street sidewalks within 39 feet of the clinic’s entrances.
Planned Parenthood says a buffer zone is needed because anti-abortion protesters harass and intimidate clinic patients.
Protesters say they are simply exercising their First Amendment free speech rights and are threatening to bring legal action if a buffer zone is established.
The Portland Press Herald, reports that the proposals are scheduled to be discussed Tuesday to the council’s Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee meeting.