A few years back, I went to Planned Parenthood to have the birth control implant in my arm removed. As I rounded the corner from Elm Street onto Congress, I was met with a group of protesters screaming in my face. I was shocked and quickly entered the building. Once the doors shut behind me I simply laughed because if only those protestors had known that what I was doing actually fell in line with their beliefs.
Planned Parenthood offers numerous resources, free of charge, to anyone. Their name has become synonymous with abortion in the never-ending debate surrounding a woman’s right to choose.
A new bill being considered, L.D. 1899, will require these pro-life protestors to stay at least 8 feet away from the front door of a Maine Abortion clinic. Ignoring the 8 foot rule could result in a Class E misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a $1,000 fine. This would apply to all state healthcare facilities, in order to create a medical safety zone.
Protesters would still be able to speak their minds by lining the sidewalks on either side of Congress. They have been known for coming on Fridays, which is the day abortions have traditionally been conducted. Many people volunteer at Planned Parenthood, specifically helping to escort patients amid the chaos. In a public hearing, they spoke about the array of insults that have been screamed at them, and usually patients are in tears when they finally enter the building.
Not everyone is as lucky as I was and are able to laugh off the verbal abuse performed by the protestors. Mainers deserve to feel safe when they are entering a healthcare facility.