LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bright yellow lines marking a buffer zone outside a Louisville abortion clinic were covered up just hours after they were painted on Tuesday. But it wasn't vandalism.
Metro Public Works says it made a mistake on calculating the dimensions listed in the ordinance approved by Metro Council, so it will repaint the lines on Wednesday outside the EMW Women's Surgical Center downtown.
The lines mark the city's first safety zone to separate protesters from people entering and exiting the clinic. The lines are meant to keep protesters back 10 feet from the door.
Metro Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong, D-8, one of the sponsors of the ordinance creating the buffer zone, tweeted photos Tuesday afternoon of the newly-painted lines, but hours later, the lines were covered by some type of gray paint or chalk.
See those yellow lines? The city’s first safety zone is now in place outside EMW. These simple lines will help people access healthcare safely. Thanks to Public Works for a great job on the installation. pic.twitter.com/fiOdVfDLSh— Cassie Chambers Armstrong (@cassie4council) September 14, 2021
A Metro Public Works spokesman says crews removed the lines Tuesday night, and weather permitting will restripe the area on Wednesday.
Last week, a federal judge denied a pro-life group's effort to block the city's ordinance that established the buffer zone.
The lawsuit filed in June argued that the ordinance was unconstitutional, and asked a federal judge to block it and "restore the constitutional rights to Plaintiffs to conduct their life-saving ministry within a traditional public forum."
According to the ordinance, protesters have to stay at least 10 feet from the clinic's entrance to allow patients to enter and exit the building safely. Violators will be warned on their first violation. If they re-violate, they face being cited and fined.
The ordinance was introduced in April after some Metro Council members said demonstrations at the clinic, one of the only clinics performing abortions in the city, had become too pushy and too dangerous. It passed Metro Council in May.
This story may be updated.
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