Ohio ACLU concerned over buffer zone around abortion clinics

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is siding with abortion-clinic protesters over proposed buffer zones around the facilities in central Ohio.

The ACLU of Ohio on Wednesday sent a letter to the Columbus city attorney expressing concern over a proposed city ordinance that would keep protesters from coming within a certain distance from health-care clinics that perform abortions.

The civil-rights group says the new law would place an undue burden on free speech, noting that legal protections against harassment already are in place.

The proposed law would ban a person from harassing and following an individual within 15 feet of the premises. It also would prohibit blocking anyone from going into or out.

Columbus’ two clinics have seen an increase in calls for police assistance in the past five years.

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