Bay Area Planned Parenthood executives, used to presenting their pro-abortion case to prospective clients without a countervailing response, are whining that the San Francisco police and the city attorney aren’t protecting them from those nasty pro-life protesters who are appearing at the organization’s facility and threatening their business by (gasp!) passing out literature.
The organization claims that it is being subjected to “harassment and intimidation” at its health center on Valencia Street, as people violate a 25-foot buffer zone rule in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that struck down a similar buffer zone in Massachusetts.
Planned Parenthood’s Bay Area chapter leader, Heather Saunders Estes, penned a letter to City Attorney Dennis Herrera: “Each week, as the harassment and intimidation escalate… the city’s ordinances are violated ever more flagrantly,” adding that when Planned Parenthood’s staffers contact law enforcement, the response is that “there is nothing they can do.” She blistered Herrera, writing that other cities in the state “have come out in strong defense of their ordinances,” while “your office continues to dither.”
Herrera replied that his office understands “some of the understandable bitterness and disappointment” over the Supreme Court ruling and is consulting with legal experts as to how to proceed. Some people familiar with the internal politics of the situation argue that if San Francisco’s defends its 25-foot no-protest zone, antiabortion activists could file a lawsuit and the city could lose thousands of dollars in legal expenses.
Supervisor and Assembly candidate David Campos said that police are not going to act until they see a city “policy decision on how to proceed… I hope we stick as close to the [existing] ordinance as possible, because I think the only way to protect women’s access to the clinic is to continue to enforce a buffer zone. Even if there are legal risks involved.”