Pro-Life Groups Fight Proposed Clinic Ordinance

(Toledo, OH)    Pro-life groups are planning to pack a Toledo City Council public hearing to fight proposed restrictions on abortion clinic protests.  

The leaders of several anti-abortion agencies announced Tuesday their opposition to the measure, claiming the new rules violate their free speech rights. 

Steve Steel, Toledo city council president, is proposing to keep protesters 20 feet away from health clinic doors, saying it would improve safety for both protesters and patients. The law also would affect Toledo's only abortion clinic on Sylvania Ave.  State law already bans protesters from blocking clinic entrances.

Greater Toledo Right to Life and Citizens for Community Values are among the groups expected to weigh in against the ordinance. Toledo Catholic Diocese Bishop Daniel Thomas issued a statement, calling the proposed ordinance "unnecessary" and predicting it would have what the ACLU calls a 'chilling effect' on free speech.

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