CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s capital city has passed an ordinance aimed at curbing protests at abortion clinics.
News outlets report the Charleston City Council voted 21-5 on Monday to approve restrictions on approaching people as they enter health care facilities. The law forbids people from blocking an entrance or exit and says protesters can’t come within 8 feet of someone who is within 100 feet of a front entrance to advocate a message or provide pamphlets without the person’s consent.
The law was drafted after police received reports of protesters yelling at people entering the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia and blocking entries.
Anti-abortion protesters threatened legal action, saying the ordinance impeded their Constitutional right to free speech.
The American Civil Liberties Union raised concerns in a statement about the ordinance being too broad.