In Westchester, NY, one brave pro-life County Executive has stood up to political pressure by vetoing a bill that would hinder peaceful protest, prayer, and sidewalk counseling outside of abortion clinics in the county.
Earlier this month, the Westchester County Board of Legislators approved the “Reproductive Health Care Facilities Access” law by a 10-7 party line vote. The bill would create a 25-foot “buffer zone” around abortion clinics and allow clinic personnel to call the police on prayerful protesters and side-walked counselors – even if the women they are praying for and speaking to don’t mind.
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino promptly vetoed the measure, rightly saying that it would chill the free speech of those praying and peacefully demonstrating in front of the clinics.
“The legislation is unnecessary, unfair and unconstitutional on its face, all of which put the public at risk,” said Astorino to the Board of Legislators as reported by the PortChesterPatch. “My veto is a principled attempt to spare our residents of these harmful consequences.”
Astorino went on to point out that the law is also unnecessary, as there are already federal and New York state statues in place that guarantee women access to abortion clinics.
Thank you for standing up for the freedom of speech of pro-lifers, County Executive Astorino!