Chicago City curbs anti-abortion activists

11:20, October 08, 2009      

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The Chicago City Council Wednesday passed an ordinance creating a so-called bubble zone requiring anti-abortion activists to keep their distance from people entering clinics.

City officials said, under the measure, anti-abortion activists must respect the personal space of people entering medical facilities in Chicago or risk a 500-U.S.-dollar fine.

The ordinance establishes a 50-foot buffer outside the entrances of all health care facilities. Within that zone, no one can come within 8 feet of another person without consent to pass out fliers, display signs, vocally protest, educate or counsel.

Anti-abortion activist held a demonstrations Wednesday morning in front of the City Hall in downtown Chicago, protesting against the measure.

When the vote was called, some people shouted "boo" and "right to free speech." Then they left their council chamber seats and headed to a hallway, where they vowed to fight.

Earlier, as the council debated the measure, more than 100 people circled the front doors of City Hall. Many of them held small American flags as they sang "Amazing Grace" and shouted, "Praise God."

Many U.S. cities and states have established "bubble zones" around patients approaching clinics since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Colorado law in 2000.

Source: Xinhua
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