In June 2016, the Columbus, OH City Council unanimously passed the “Healthcare Workers and Patient Protection Ordinance.” The measure establishes a 15-foot zone around clinics, within which there are enhanced penalties for engaging in “disorderly conduct.” This ordinance also prohibits obstruction of clinic entrances and premises, and prohibits conduct within the buffer zone that “places another person in reasonable fear of physical harm, or attempts to do the same.” Councilmember Elizabeth Brown sponsored the ordinance, and the introductory text cites “the disturbing trend of increasing threats of violence and vandalism” at reproductive health care facilities as the explanation for the measure. Advocates, led by NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, applauded the City Council for their efforts to protect patients and clinic staff from increasing anti-choice harassment.
- Read the Healthcare Workers and Patient Protection Ordinance.
- Read coverage of the ordinance’s passage at Fox 28, NBC 4, and The Columbus Dispatch.
- The National Partnership for Women and Families covered the ordinance in their Women’s Health Policy Report.
- NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio released a statement supporting the ordinance after it was introduced.