'Buffer zone' protects state's sole abortion clinic as protests continue

Protesters gather one day after 'buffer zone' issued at abortion clinic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Saturday marks the first full day of a temporary buffer zone which is now in place to protect Kentucky's only remaining abortion clinic.

Friday, Federal Judge David Hale signed a temporary restraining order and this comes as a week of protests put on by pro-life organizations are scheduled to take place. Pro-life group Operation Save America brought dozens of its members to stand as close as they could in front of the EMW Surgical Center in downtown Louisville Saturday morning.

There are limitations now, Judge Hale created a 15 by 7 feet buffer zone outside the facility. Joseph Spurgeon, with Operation Save America, tells us, “This is human beings, this is a Holocaust that is occurring in our land. 4,000 children every year. So we come out here to oppose that.”

Operation Save America knows this clinic well.

In May, almost a dozen of its members were arrested for blocking the entrance to the Bluegrass State's only remaining abortion clinic.

After they were asked to leave and refused, many were charged with trespassing.

“Our federal government has become a tyrannical beast, it's a serpent and it is protecting murder and it's taking away rights. It is so far gone from what the Constitution declared,” Spurgeon said.

The order, by Judge David Hale, prevents those defendants and any others from occupying a specific and “temporary” zone intending or attempting to physically block access to the clinic.

For pro-choice supporters like Carol Savkovich with Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, they say the order is needed to give women space, “Just trying to create a little space at the entrance so women can access their medical care.”

Clinic escorts stood right on the edge of the zone as many of those who entered were told by Pro-life supporters to make a better decision. There was a heavy U.S Marshalls and LMPD presence as well.

Monday, there is a hearing set at 9:30 a.m. to determine if the buffer zone will stay in place permanently.

Operation Save America and many of the protesters arrested back in May are named on the motion.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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