THE BRONX - A new City Council program is reigniting the abortion debate in The Bronx and the rest of the boroughs.

The Clinic Protection Project will send volunteers to escort women to clinics that perform abortions in an effort to protect their right to choose and access health care.

City Council officials say the initiative is necessary after "offensive rhetoric and disturbing protests outside clinics over the past year." No taxpayer dollars are being used, but pro-life advocates are still outraged, claiming the program is an attempt to silence them.

Planned Parenthood will begin training for volunteers this weekend. The program officially begins Nov. 3 and will run on Saturdays through the end of the year.