UPDATE: Abortion protesters OK letting buffer zone stand

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Abortion opponents have agreed to abide by a federal restraining order that keeps them from gathering on a patch of sidewalk outside the only clinic still performing abortions in Kentucky.

The opponents, who had been challenging the temporary order in court, said they will let the order continue until it expires later this week. U.S. District Judge David Hale approved the agreement after a hearing on Monday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said enforcement of the buffer zone will protect both patients seeking access to Louisville’s EMW Women’s Surgical Center as well as the First Amendment rights of protesters.

Rusty Thomas, director of the group Operation Save America, was challenging the restraining order. Thomas’ group is leading large anti-abortion protests at the clinic this week.

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