by Steven Ertelt
February 26, 2008
Denver, CO (LifeNews.com) — A new bill in the Colorado legislature would limit abortion and other protests that take place in residential neighborhoods. The measure, introduced by a pro-life legislator, doesn’t target the pro-life advocates who have protested outside the home of a lead contractor building a new Planned Parenthood, but it would affect them.
Sen. Steve Ward, a Republican from Littleton, is behind the measure, which he has introduced only to ensure peace and quiet for people in neighborhoods.
"We have a right to be secure and peaceful in our homes," Ward told the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper.
The bill targets targeted protests aimed at one homeowner rather than a message intended for the public in general. It would limit protestors to carrying one 2′ x 3′ sign and require them to keep moving or to leave the area.
Violators would get a warning and repeat offenders could be fined $5,000.
The protests most affected by the bill would be those of pro-life advocates who have been demonstrating in front of the home of the head of Weitz Company, the lead contractor for a new Planned Parenthood abortion business in the Stapleton area.
Will Duffy, a local resident who has coordinated the pickets, told the newspaper he has no problem with the bill because he and his supporters have already been following local ordinances with similar limits.
"We know that residential picketing is miserable. But since we believe that they’re killing children, we’re going to employ any legal means we can to stop it," he said.
Cathryn Hazouri, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, told the newspaper her group isn’t taking a position on the bill even though the ACLU traditionally opposes limits on free speech rights.