Anti-Abortion Activists Protest First Day of "Bubble Zone" Oridinance
By Camela Furry in News on Nov 18, 2009 3:20PM
Last month, the City Council passed an ordinance that requires anti-abortion activists to stay at least 50 feet from clinics and medical facilities that perform abortions, and 8 feet from anyone entering the clinics. In the 8 foot protective "bubble zone" anyone passing out materials, displaying signs, protesting or attempting to counsel someone without their consent could be fined $500.
The ordinance goes into effect today, and yesterday outside a northside Planned Parenthood, anti-abortion activists prayed and formed a rally protesting the ordinance. The protesters stayed within 7 feet of the building and were only asked to move periodically by a police offer in order to open a clear path for clients coming in and out of the clinic. Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro Life Action League told Chicago Breaking News the ordinance is "an unconstitutional violation of free-speech rights," and will file suit in federal court.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois issued a statement saying, "The new bubble zone will enhance public safety in a fair and constitutional manner," and " The law strikes a delicate balance between the right to free speech with the need to protect people from harassment and intimidation." Activist Julie Grisolano said at the rally that the ordinance discriminates against women who are young, afraid, and unaware of other options. She said, "If you cared about women, you'd let them hear both sides of the story."