Buffer zones critical
As an obstetrician-gynecologist, I support legislation introduced by state Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia, that would establish a 15-foot buffer zone around reproductive health clinic entrances in Pennsylvania (“Philadelphia senator's bill restricts anti-abortion protesters,” Dec. 12 and TribLIVE.com).
This is already existing law in Pittsburgh, and women all across the state should enjoy this protection from harassment by anti-choice protesters. All Pennsylvania women deserve protection to access legal and safe medical services, including abortion, without being subject to intimidation.
I have worked at health clinics without such buffer-zone protections and witnessed the aggressive intimidation tactics of protesters. I have seen protesters threatening to hurt women's families, photographing and harassing clinic staff, and lying to women about the safety of abortion and other clinic services.
No person, man or woman, should have to suffer fear of harassment simply for walking into a reproductive health clinic. Buffer zones in the City of Pittsburgh provide critical protection and this proposed legislation will help protect all women in Pennsylvania.