PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Protesters returned to the front of the Planned Parenthood clinic on Congress Street, now that the city council has repealed a buffer zone.
A handful of anti-abortion activists stood next to the clinic's entrance this morning. The buffer zone was enacted last November and kept the protesters 39-feet away from the entrance. The Portland City Council voted Monday to lift the restrictions after the US Supreme Court ruled a similar buffer zone in Massachusetts was unconstitutional. While a few protesters said they were exercising the rights to stand right out in front of Planned Parenthood, the majority of them stayed across the street.
"We really didn't want to be in people's faces. We don't want to come across as harassing people and what not. We are here to give the good news of Jesus Christ and we're also here to try to save babies", said protester Penny Drew.
A smaller gathering of Planned Parenthood supporters held up signs on a corner across from the protesters. A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood says they requested a police officer to be on hand to keep the peace and they had several extra greeters to escort clients in and out of the building.
"We saw prior to the buffer zone, a wide variety of behavior and there was no question that our patients felt harassed and intimidated", said Planned Parenthood Spokesperson Nicole Clegg.
Friday's protest remained peaceful, with no incidents