Protesters opposed to buffer zone at EMW Women's Surgical Center

Protesters upset over new buffer zone in front of EMW Center.

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- A hearing to determine if a buffer zone will permanently stay in place in front of Kentucky's only abortion clinic is underway.

The temporary ban was put to keep protesters from blocking access to the clinic.

Pro-choice supporters say the order is needed to give women space to access their medical care

Protesters have been outside the courthouse for hours waiting to hear whether the temporary buffer zone ordered outside of Kentucky's last standing abortion clinic will stay or go.

A federal judge granted the temporary restraining order Friday, July 21. The order established a buffer zone at the EMW Women's Surgical Center.

The buffer zone is about 15 by 7 and a half feet and creates a pathway between protestors and the abortion clinic's front doors.

The restraining order comes after protesters from the anti-abortion group Operation Save America were arrested back in May for blocking the entrance to the clinic.

Protestors outside of the Federal Courthouse on Monday said the restraining order prevents them from being on the sidewalk and preaching the gospel.

"When we're pushed back any distance whatsoever then we can't have that intimate conversation that can result in saving a baby's life," Chet Gallagher, with Operation Save America, said. 

The motion for that buffer zone was filed last week by the US Attorney's Office in Louisville, asking the judge to enforce the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

The buffer zone order is effective for two weeks. Anyone who violates the order can be arrested.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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