PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Portland City Council Committee has voted in favor of an ordinance that would establish a buffer zone around Planned Parenthood on Congress street.
The 39-foot buffer would keep aggressive protesters away from people trying to enter the clinic. This was the first time councilors heard from the public on the issue, and all of the people they heard from were in favor of the buffer zone.
The Public Safety Health and Human Services Committee considered two proposals. One would create a 25-foot buffer around the clinic's entrance on Congress Street. The other would ban demonstrators from gathering on the Congress Street and Elm Street sidewalks within 39 feet of the clinic's entrances. Councilors heard nearly two hours of public comment from people supporting the 39-foot buffer. Patients, Portland residents, and Planned Parenthood staff described the harrassment they have received in front of the clinic's entrance.
There will be another public hearing before the full council takes its final vote. The issues is likely to be on the agenda for the November 18th city council meeting.