According to the Twitter feed of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (@ppnne), the Portland City Council voted unanimously this evening to impose what PP calls a “patient safety zone” outside abortion facilities.
Also known as buffer zones, such ordinances typically impose a perimeter around abortion facilities to keep peaceful pro-life prayer witnesses at a distance.
The sketchy report provided by the tweets indicates that abortion advocates were well-represented at the meeting, which included public testimony. The Council meeting was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.; testimony reportedly ended shortly after 10; the Council vote was concluded by 10:25.
The Councilors added an “emergency” provision that makes the ordinance effective immediately.
The United States Supreme Court will rule within the next few months on the constitutionality of Massachusetts’s buffer zone law. The Concord, New Hampshire city council recently took a wait-and-see attitude to a petition for a zone around “reproductive health facilities” in that city.