Posted by Audiegrl
Chicago-Sun Times/Fran Spielman—In a political about-face, Mayor Daley said Friday he would sign legislation creating a protective zone around Chicago hospitals and clinics to keep patients and employees from being hounded by “in-your-face” abortion protests.On Friday, the mayor said he would sign the permanent protective zone created by a divided City Council.
In 1996, Daley ridiculed a proposal that would have given women entering Chicago abortion clinics an eight-foot buffer between themselves and the nearest protester during the Democratic National Convention here.
At the time, he denounced it as the equivalent of a “free trade zone” and said enforcing the buffer would require “measuring tapes…You’d get into arguments.”
What a difference thirteen years makes.
“You’re just trying to make sure no one’s being harassed. …If someone is going into a medical complex and I disagree with them going there, I should not harass and scream and yell at them. It doesn’t matter whether it deals with the word abortion or anything else,” the mayor said.
“There has to be some civility left in our society. Everybody has the right to demonstrate and picket. But, to use words and other things to frighten people going in to seek assistance — that is another question.”
Daley said he anticipates a court challenge. But, he’s confident the ordinance drafted by his Law Department will stand up to legal scrutiny.
“Many people are going into many of these medical complexes for other reasons as well—not just for that [abortion] reason,” he said.