Harrisburg Council sets buffer around health care facilities - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Harrisburg Council sets buffer around health care facilities

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Harrisburg City Council has approved a measure that creates a 20-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics and other health care facilities.

Planned Parenthood said they approached Council about creating the buffer zone.

"When Planned Parenthood began offering medication abortions at our facility in December, our patients and our staff began experiencing verbal harassment," said Kim Custer, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northeast and Mid-Penn.

There were reports that some protestors were even banging on windows, but pro-life volunteer Delores Euker said she has appeared outside clinics and has never seen anyone harass patients.

"We're strictly there to offer guys and girls another choice," she said. "That is it. It's up to the individuals whether they want to come over and talk to me or not."

Euker said she doesn't understand the city's 20-foot buffer zone.

"I see no necessity for it whatsoever," Euker said, adding that she's always stayed at least 20 feet away in the past.

Custer said she was thrilled with Council's decision.

"Everyone has a personal tolerance," she said. "You can't measure what is threatening to an individual and we certainly want to prevent any situations from escalating."

Council members said the zone respects the rights of both parties.

"Those who are outside, they have a right to congregate," said Council President Wanda Williams. "They have a right to protest, but also the ones who are entering have a right to go in for services."

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