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Anti-abortion group must stay outside Planned Parenthood's buffer zone


A local pro-life group that protests in front of the Planned Parenthood office on University Avenue does have to abide by a 2005 federal court ordered injunction, according to the city and state attorney general’s office. The injunction prevents protesters from crossing a 15-foot buffer zone.

The decision, which came late last week, reverses an earlier announcement by the city that the group could protest without regard to the injunction.

The Thomas More Society, a conservative legal organization, sent a letter to the city last month arguing that Jim Havens and the anti-abortion group ROC Sidewalk Advocates was not a party to the 2005 injunction and does not work with other anti-abortion groups and so it shouldn't have to abide by the injunction.

But in a letter sent Friday to the Thomas More Society, the attorney general’s office said it has reviewed evidence demonstrating that Havens and ROC Sidewalk Advocates “are in fact acting in concert” with groups involved with the original 2005 case. ROC Sidewalk must abide by the 15-foot buffer zone, the letter said.

The buffer zone near Planned Parenthood is marked by yellow stripes on the sidewalk near the clinic's entrance.

This story has been updated to include new information.