Harrisburg, PA Creates 20 Feet Clinic Buffer to Protect Patients and Staff


Patients seeking access to reproductive health clinics in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania will be able to get through the doors with less potential for harassment, thanks to a new 20-foot buffer zone aroud clinics enacted by the city council.

The buffer zone will keep anti-choice activists further away from the doors and alleys of any medical provider, giving police more ability to keep activists and patients separate.

Anti-choice activist Susan Doller opposed the buffer zone, saying that those who try to access the clinic are protected enough from their harassment.

Via PennLive:

[A]nti-abortion protester Suzanne Doller questioned the need for a buffer-zone law.

Existing trespassing laws already protect patients and staff, Doller contended “If [protesters] were trespassing, we would be summarily arrested. There are laws in place” she said. “Babies are being killed there. [Protesters] are citizens, and we should be allowed to walk on public sidewalks like anybody else does.”

Doller should know the laws well, having kept regular company with police over her harassment in front of clinics, tactics that included not just signs and “counseling” but using a megaphone to shout at patients or video cameras to record them coming and going from the clinic.

Doller, a former Operation Rescue member who followed Randall Terry to his newer “rescue” operation, Insurrecta Nex, was also escorted off grounds after ambushing Sen. Bob Casey at a press event in 2009.

When someone with a history of multiple charges and close ties with a group that argued that Dr. George Tiller’s murderer Scott Roeder may not be allowed a “fair trial” says that there is no reason to need a buffer zone to better protect patients and staff, you can’t blame the city council for not taking her word on it.

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  • veggietart

    Why don’t they just call them First Amendment Zones?  You know, the way people protesting GWB had to do so from many blocks away where their message would be heard by few.  If it’s Constitutional for people protesting a politician, it should be Constitutional for people protesting women’s private medical decisions.

  • crowepps

    Existing trespassing laws already protect patients and staff, Doller contended “If [protesters] were trespassing, we would be summarily arrested. There are laws in place” she said. “Babies are being killed there. [Protesters] are citizens, and we should be allowed to walk on public sidewalks like anybody else does.”

    This woman sounds pretty confused. 

    From what or whom do the patients and staff need to be protected?

    What does her statement about “babies being killed” have to do with anything?

    If she or any other ProLife activitist wants to “walk on public sidewalks” so far as I’m aware there’s no problem.  It’s the bullhorns, shrieking at strangers, taking pictures of people, waving religious symbols, insisting people take their guilt-trip handouts, and harassment that are the problem.