The Portland City Council is scheduled to take a final vote on establishing a buffer zone around a woman’s health clinic to separate anti-abortion protesters from patients.

The proposal up for consideration today would create a 39-foot zone around entrances to reproductive health care facilities in which anti-abortion protesters would be barred. Portland has just one such clinic.

If approved, the zone would take effect Dec. 18.

Abortion rights activists say the protesters harass and threaten women going into the clinic, reducing some to tears.

Protesters have said they are exercising their First Amendment free speech rights and would bring legal action if a buffer zone is established.

Protester Leslie Sneddon tells the Portland Press Herald if the zone is approved, she and other protesters will simply move across the street.

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