Ordinance Creates "Bubble" Around Abortion Clinics

Women say they're harassed, followed when they enter clinics

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Pro Choice activist Lina Thorn (C) of World Can't Wait and Pro Life activist Amanda Lord (R) of the Christian Defense Coalition square off outside the Pepsi Center prior to the Democratic National Convention on August 23, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The city is preparing to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention at the Pepsi Center from August 25th through the 28th.

    Come within eight feet of someone walking into an abortion clinic to hand out fliers, vocally protest, educate or counsel them, and you could get slapped with a fine up to $500 dollars.

    The Chicago City Council passed a measure Wednesday that seeks to create a 50-foot buffer outside the entrances of all health care facilities.  It was proposed by Ald. Vi Daley (43rd) and was patterned after an even stricter law in Colorado that has already been challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Thirteen of the city's 50 alderman voted against the ban, many of them Roman Catholics.

    After the vote, demonstrators chanted and gathered outside the chambers.

    "Women seeking any kind of medical service are routinely harassed," Ald. Daley told the Chicago Tribune. "They are photographed, and they are followed."

    But others said pro-life activists have the right to counsel women on their way into clinics.

    "People should be given the opportunity to give someone a leaflet," said Ald. Willie Cochran, who voted against the measure.

    One anti-abortion activist told the Chicago Tribune that he'll likely bring more graphic pictures of aborted babies to abortion clinics if he can't approach the women walking into them, and he said he'll make a personal appeal to Mayor Richard Daley.

    "He's a good Catholic boy," Joseph Scheidler said.  "He knows what abortion is."