Carbondale leaders change ordinance to restrict protestors from approaching abortion clinic visitors
CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Leaders in Carbondale have approved a change they say would protect people walking in and out of abortion clinics.
The decision now makes it illegal for protestors to approach people within 100 feet of any healthcare facility.
At the Tuesday night, January 10 city council meeting, they weighed the rights of pro-life protestors against the rights of patients seeking reproductive health care.
A pro-life group named Coalition Life said they disagreed with the ordinance. Members say they consider it free speech and peaceful right to assemble on public sidewalks.
The founder went on the record saying he had the legal resources to take the decision by the council to the Supreme Court, if passed.
The group’s staff attorney went as far as to call the ordinance “biased.”
“Unfortunately, my guess is that the intention of this body, and instructions to law enforcement, is to only apply this ordinance to those who hold the pro-life view. Your internal email communications, and the preamble of the ordinance, clearly state a bias against viewpoints of those who oppose abortion,” Leigh Stevens, staff attorney for Coalition Life, said.
However, the council still voted in favor of the new ordinance, saying the actions of protestors have been interfering with the rights of those seeking abortions and reproductive healthcare services.
Every member of the council voted in favor and say they all want to protect their community.
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