AG: City’s abortion ordinance raises free speech concerns
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s top prosecutor says Charleston’s new ordinance to target protests at abortion clinics could run afoul of Constitutional law.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Tuesday released a statement saying the ordinance is problematic because it targets free speech.
News outlets report the Charleston City Council voted 21-5 on Monday to approve restrictions on approaching people as they enter health care facilities. The law forbids people from blocking an entrance or exit and says protesters can’t come within 8 feet of someone who is within 100 feet of a front entrance to advocate a message or provide pamphlets without the person’s consent.
The American Civil Liberties Union has also raised concerns in a statement about the ordinance being too broad. Anti-abortion protesters have threatened legal action.