Pro-choice demonstrators turned out today to rally against ongoing weekly anti-abortion protests in downtown Portland.
About 100 pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrators gathered this morning on Congress Street in Portland, where anti-abortion protestors have been picketing a Planned Parenthood clinic weekly since summer.
The pro-choice rally was organized by a local businessman, Mike Fink, who says the anti-abortion protesters have been disrupting his nearby businesses, Guitar Grave and Mike's Restaurant.
Fink says he's so frustrated by the ongoing protests that he's now raising money for Planned Parenthood. "I would have been the last person I would ever consider to become a fundraiser for anything a year ago, but it's wrong what they're doing out there," he says.
Fink says he's concerned that the anti-abortion protests could lead to violence, as has happened elsewhere in the country. There's talk of creating a buffer zone around the clinic to keep protesters at a distance, but anti-abortion protesters say they're not worried about that.
"If a buffer zone is enforced, then we will just stand outside the buffer zone with larger signs," says anti-abortion protester Leslie Sneddon, of Richmond. "I'm here to stop the murdering of the innocents in the womb."
As of this hour, no violent incidents have been reported.
This story was reported by Samantha Fields.
Photo by Samantha Fields.