cityhall3.jpgA San Francisco supervisor today introduced legislation that would create a 25-foot buffer zone around entrances to facilities that provide reproductive health care to protect workers and patients from alleged harassment by anti-abortion activists.

The proposal by Supervisor David Campos, which he said is being co-sponsored by seven other supervisors, comes as a Planned Parenthood clinic on Valencia Street has reported constant protesting from anti-abortion groups.

Current city law creates a 8-foot “bubble” around patients entering or leaving a reproductive health care facility, but Campos said that ordinance was hard to enforce and “not sufficient to protect the women.”

He said his new legislation finds a “balance between the right to free speech and the right for women to access health care.”

Campos said San Francisco has “always led the way in protecting civil rights and this is an opportunity to continue to do so.”

Ronald Konopaski, an anti-abortion activist, attended today’s Board of Supervisors meeting and criticized the proposal.

Konopaski said he has been in front of the Planned Parenthood facility for nearly 40 days and has not seen any problems.

“The sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood is always peaceful,” he said. “This is false, there’s no harassment.”

But Beverly Upton, executive director of the Domestic Violence Consortium, said she has witnessed women harassed at a previous Planned Parenthood center in the city.

“It’s a public safety issue,” she said.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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