PORTLAND, Maine — The protesters outside Portland’s Planned Parenthood clinic weren’t screaming Friday morning, but not because of a court order.
It was the first of the regularly scheduled anti-abortion demonstrations since a federal judge ruled that police may again enforce Maine’s noise ordinance against protesters outside the women’s health center. And the activists kept their admonitions to a low shout despite the decision not yet being in effect.
On Tuesday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, finding that police can enforce the noise section of the Maine Civil Rights Act against the protesters because, as written, the law is message neutral.
The ruling is the latest step in a legal drama that started in 2015 and could now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue at hand being whether or not the First Amendment gives protesters the right to scream epithets such as “Murderer!” and “Whore!” at patients entering the clinic, of course, in the name of Jesus.
The Legislature is back in Augusta on Wednesday for what’s set to be the last official day of the 2017 session.
They’re mostly back to vote on overriding 27 vetoes from Gov. Paul LePage, including bills that would set long-term solar policy, increase Maine’s tobacco-buying age to 21 and prohibit handheld cellphone use while driving.
If the City of Portland’s new budget passes, the loss of city funding will cause all of the clinics at India Street Public Health to be shut down.
This will mean the loss of the following programs:
HIV prevention, Positive Health Care, STD Clinic, Needle Exchange, Free Clinic, and the Immunization Clinic.
To dumb it down, if the budget passes, there’s going to be no more needle exchange in Portland, which means a dirty needle exchange, feel me?
There’s going to be a rally sunday at 1pm at Lincoln Park in Portland, and before then, I’ll be on “Isaac and the Locals” from 10:30am to noon on WMPG radio, 90.9 and 104.1 on your dial, or follow this link and listen to it on your machine: http://www.wmpg.org/listen/wmpg-live-stream/. I’ll be talking about the clinic a bit more as well as Ibogaine and we’ll bang out a few tunes. Tune in, and be there Sunday at 1pm.