Pro-life group now says it's fine with allowing buffer zone arou - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pro-life group now says it's fine with allowing buffer zone around Kentucky's only abortion clinic to remain in place

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The dispute over a buffer zone outside Kentucky's only clinic to perform abortions is settled, and opponents are reacting. Now members of an anti-abortion group says they're fine a decision to keep the restraining order in place.

In a news conference this morning, members of Operation Save America say they're okay with letting the buffer zone expire on its own.

Last week, a federal judge established the buffer zone to prevent protesters from gathering in front of the EMW Women's Surgical Center, on Market Street. The buffer zone is 15-feet long by 7-1/2 feet wide. The order was aimed at nearly a dozen pro-life activists who were arrested at a demonstration back in May after police said they linked arms and blocked the entrance to the clinic.

On Monday, a U.S. District Court Judge said the defendants in the case agreed to continue the temporary restraining order, "until its scheduled expiration, two hours after the close of business on Saturday."

Rusty Thomas, director of Operation Save America, initially challenged the restraining order in court. On Tuesday, Thomas' attorney said it violates free speech since it's located on a public sidewalk.

"We don't want the hard confrontation," said Vince Heuser, Thomas' attorney. "We want the right -- which we have -- and the opportunity to speak with these girls, without the speech police in orange vests trying to interfere with that."

On the other hand, some critics argue that the buffer zone is too modest.

Today's news conference and demonstrations across town are part of Operation Save America's week-long protests in Louisville.

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