D.C.

US bars protester from 'buffer zone' at clinic

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Department of Justice says it has settled a civil complaint against a Maryland man who protests abortions outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington.

The department said Monday that the settlement permanently bars Richard A. Retta of Rockville, Md., from going inside a gated area in front of the Planned Parenthood entrance.

The settlement also bars Retta from going within an additional 18.5 foot by six foot "buffer zone" directly outside the clinic gate.

The government claimed that Retta followed patients into the clinic building and yells at them, and once physically blocked a woman from entering the clinic.

Retta denied in an interview last year ever blocking access to the clinic.

Retta's lawyers did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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