Protesters voice concerns over 'buffer zone' in front of Louisvi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Protesters voice concerns over 'buffer zone' in front of Louisville abortion clinic

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The group Operation Save America met outside City Hall on Wednesday afternoon to voice objection to a potential "buffer zone" at Kentucky’s only abortion clinic.

The EMW Women’s Surgical Center asked Metro Council members in June to consider the idea of a 20-foot buffer zone, which would extend from the street to the front of the clinic. The center’s director said it will allow women to enter without being blocked by protesters or sidewalk counselors.

On Wednesday, the Metro Council Public Safety Committee met to discuss the topic and allow the public to voice opinions and concerns. There currently is no ordinance that has been written or under review.

Before that meeting, supporters of Operation Save America voiced their opposition of a buffer zone.

“They’re talking about taking the public sidewalk and making it off limits to First Amendment rights,” said pastor Joseph Spurgeon, the local leader of Operation Save America.

Spurgeon said Planned Parenthood supports some Metro Council leaders financially, and that is why he believes this idea is being discussed.

“They’re using the guise of public safety as a way to protect the immoral and inhumane practice of abortion,” Spurgeon said.

Spurgeon said Christians will follow God and not a buffer zone, to which the crowd responded with “Yes!” and “Amen!” He urged Metro Council members to not support a buffer zone.

“These politicians who are protecting evil and punishing good are called by God to punish evil and protect good,” he said.

Operation Save America is planning multiple larger protests, events and rallies starting Saturday. A coordinator said anywhere from 200 to 400 people could show at a time up to any of the events.

An organizer said no one in their group ever intends to be arrested. He said the handful of protesters who have already been arrested and charged in the past will stay across the street from the clinic. But he said everyone else intends to meet as usual on the sidewalk in front of the clinic.

A representative from the Louisville Metro Police Department, Maj. Eric Johnson, spoke to the Public Safety Committee meeting regarding the upcoming protests. He told council members that LMPD is aware of the events and asks everyone to follow the laws. Officers are already assigned to monitor the clinic and protests every Saturday.

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