Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Mayor Proposes Demonstrator-Free Zone for Clinics.(Metro & New Mexico)

Byline: Dan McKay Journal Staff Writer

* Measure raises concern about First Amendment rights

Supporters of a measure that would limit protests near medical clinics are happy to say what their bill isn't about: abortion.

But the First Amendment rights of anti-abortion demonstrators will likely be among the topics debated this month after Mayor Jim Baca introduces his "Safe Passage and Privacy Ordinance."

Baca says the measure is needed to protect women from harassment when they seek health care and to prevent demonstrators from blocking public rights-of-way, such as sidewalks.

A City Council committee crippled a similar proposal by Baca in December, citing First Amendment concerns.

Baca's new measure would prohibit protests within 100 feet of a "health care facility. …

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