A proposal to create no-protest zones around women’s health clinics such as the Planned Parenthood site in the Mission district advanced to the full Board of Supervisors on Thursday.
Supervisor David Campos has gained enough support from his colleagues to ensure its passage at the full board May 7. The law would prohibit anyone from standing within 25 feet of the entrances, exits and driveways of such facilities; in 1993, The City adopted a law that created an 8-foot “bubble zone” around anyone who is within 100 feet of such facilities.
Planned Parenthood officials and residents near the clinic’s site attended the board’s Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee hearing to praise the legislation introduced by Campos as the only solution to protect clinic workers and the rights of women.
While the proposal has forced a debate over the right to free expression, courts have ruled in favor of similar laws, including one in Massachusetts prohibiting protests within 35 feet of women’s health clinics.
Campos said that while protesters have a right to speak their minds, they don’t have a “right to intimidate women. And so that’s what this is about.”
The buffer zones would be marked by signage and paint. Repeat offenders would face jail time of six months and a $1,000 fine.