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City Council Considers "8-Foot Bubble" Around Abortion Clinic Visitors

This is from Wiretap Blog

Save The Bubble

The idea is pretty straight forward: An 8-foot bubble of private space should be required around anyone entering a reproductive health facility, including those that provide abortion care. Seems simple enough, right? Too bad nothing involving the word "abortion" is ever that simple.

In fact, at a recent City Council meeting in Oakland, CA where this notion was proposed as an ordinance, the pro-life/anti-choice community showed up en mass to articulate why they were adamantly opposed to the city adopting this law.

It went like this, people in favor of the "bubble ordinance" took turns at the podium recounting instances when demonstrators had pushed and assaulted clinic staff, blocked entrances to facilities, prohibited cars from entering clinic parking lots, and even videotaped and photographed patients as they entered clinic property. They turned the spotlight off of the abortion issue and onto public safety, explaining that it just wasn't safe for women to have to push their way through demonstrators to enter a clinic.

In their turn, speakers opposing the ordinance stood up to not only deny the allegations that protestors and sidewalk "counselors" prohibit women from entering clinics, but to explain how this ordinance is an intrusion on their freedom of speech. They claimed that by creating a space bubble around patients, their voice was effectively being silenced. For them, this issue was bigger than that of safety and as Cyrus Johnson, an attorney affiliated with the Pacific Justice Institute explained to conservative news site World Net Daily this ordinance could be seen as "the biggest threat to free speech in a generation."

He went on to say that, "If they claim, on the one hand, that the law guarantees the right to reproductive rights counseling on the matter of the choice of abortion, it must necessarily also include the right to receive counseling about another choice. This ordinance effectively wipes out that second alternative."

More here...

The final vote on this is December 4th
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