A group of people holding signs supporting Planned Parenthood during a pro choice demonstration.

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Board of Aldermen Vote No on Buffer Zone

April 17, 2018 - 8:53 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A proposal to draw the line on where demonstrators can stand outside Planned Parenthood goes down to defeat in the Board of Aldermen. 

The board voted 15-to-10 to defeat the buffer zone bill.  Among the No Votes, Alderwoman Sharon Tyus.

“The whole point of the first amendment is not for you to be able to sensor people’s content, it’s everyone having equal access,” she says.

Supporters argued that demonstrators outside Planned Parenthood were getting too close to patients pulling in the driveway, creating a public safety risk and limiting the right to an abortion.

“They still have a right, as long as they’re peaceful, to put their message out there. And if we start to limit what we don’t want to hear, we might as well do that at the board of aldermen, because most of them time people don’t want to listen to what I say,” Tyus says.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was quick to respond to the buffer zone bill defeat in the city.  In a statement from the Archdiocese's Respect Life Apostolate, Executive Director Karen Nolkemper says the church is grateful to the Board of Aldermen for defeating the bill, and choosing not to restrict what she calls the ‘constitutionally protected rights of assembly and free speech on public property’. 

The Archdiocese has been vocally opposed to the bill since it first came before an Aldermanic committee.