print Print    Share Share  
Weekly Email Weekly News Email   RSS Feed News RSS  

Feminist News


Pittsburgh City Council Votes to Increase Clinic Safety

The Pittsburgh City Council voted on Tuesday to approve a city ordinance that would protect women entering clinics from aggressive anti-abortion protesters. The ordinance establishes a buffer zone between protesters and patients at health care facilities, prohibits protesters from getting within 15 feet of facilities and bars protesters from getting within 8 feet of patients who are less than 100 feet from the door of a clinic, unless the patient consents. Violators of the ordinance would be fined $50 for the first offense, $150 for the second and $300 for the third. For four or more offenses, a violator could be sentenced to up to 30 days in prison.

The ordinance is a win for local women's groups, including the Downtown-based Women's Law Project and Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Women's Law Project considered the passage of the ordinance a victory for clients who are "often subjected to intensely confrontational and sometimes physically intimidating protest activity" outside clinic facilities.

Media Resources: Associated Press 12/8/05; Kaiser Network 12/9/05; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 12/8/05, 12/14/05;