Walnut Creek City Council Endorses Buffer Zone Ordinance For Planned Parenthood

January 19, 2022 14:00 pm · 16 comments

The Walnut Creek City Council on Tuesday night unanimously endorsed a buffer area protecting employees and clients of Planned Parenthood from harassment by anti-abortion protesters outside the clinic.

Walnut Creek police received 42 calls for service at the Planned Parenthood facility on Oakland Boulevard between Jan. 1, 2020, and Nov. 5, 2021. Complaints included accusations of verbal and physical harassment and intimidation of patients and protestors blocking sidewalks.

Council members said they realized it was a matter of dueling rights: those of protesters exercising their right of free speech, versus the legally protected rights of people not to be harassed while seeking medical attention at the clinic. California law guarantees a person’s right to enter a health care facility without obstruction, including for abortions.

Council members also said it came down to safety and that the Supreme Court has already upheld similar bans in other cities.

“I’m concerned with the 42 calls for service over a 21-month period; that’s unacceptable to me,” said Mayor Matt Francois. “Some of those calls for service involved physical assaults or altercations. That’s also unacceptable to me.

“I think that there needs to be clearer lines drawn here, and the buffer ordinance seems to draw those lines in a way that’s clear, for both those exercising their First Amendment rights and for those accessing the clinic and for law enforcement,” Francois said.

Dozens of people on both sides spoke on the issue, which came before the council Nov. 16, 2021, but had to be postponed because of technical difficulties for speakers commenting via Zoom.

The city has also received reports of traffic accidents in the area related to distracted driving from pedestrians in the street. At least four people have been arrested, one for going inside the clinic and threatening people. A security guard for pro-life group 40 Days for Life was arrested for allegedly pepper spraying people during a protest.

Other options presented to the council, such as installing a gate at the entrance and increasing police patrols in the area, were rejected as either not being realistic or taking officers away from other areas where they’re needed.

Tuesday’s vote officially directed staff to prepare the ordinance, which will come back to the council for final approval.

Damon Kent January 19, 2022 at 2:10 PM

Wow BLM can ravage downtown Walnut Creek last summer and commit smash and grabs galore but they want to protect people who murder their unborn children from protesters what a joke. It is also nice how they use the term “medical attention” which really means murdering an innocent baby. Well done Walnut Creek!!

ex-Californian January 19, 2022 at 2:55 PM

Protecting the right to infanticide

Cellophane January 19, 2022 at 4:51 PM

+1

No Excuses January 19, 2022 at 3:17 PM

It is against the law to hurt someone’s feelings in public. Unless you are: Un-housed, Un-washed, Un-sober, Un-sane… … you see the picture. All the “Un” folks gonna get a pass, a shoulder to cry on, a card good for a hot meal and a bed for the night at the local “6” or “8” something motel~~~ and clean needles on request.

Eric January 19, 2022 at 4:58 PM

Planned Parenthood provides contraceptives and family planning advice, which actually helps to prevents unwanted pregnancies, and prevents the need for abortions

Juan January 19, 2022 at 7:17 PM

While yes the technically do; the amount of their budget spent on preventative care and regular health care is in the small percentage.

The reality is if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…. It’s a duck.

Bruh January 19, 2022 at 5:39 PM

Looks like we know who owns the Walnut Creek city council. Planned parenthood is throwing around its bribing power.

Ano January 19, 2022 at 10:57 PM

Thank God they voted for this. Now women can get much needed medical care without being bothered.

theunforgiven January 19, 2022 at 11:45 PM

They really dislike people calling them out on murdering their babies but they are the same ones who called people “incels” and “losers” for not getting laid in school and thought so highly of themselves cause they did.

Now they want the worlds sympathy and the go ahead/support to murder their babies well how about keep your legs shut.

They should have the right to do it as its their choice but don’t expect my sympathy or support in doing it. Tik tok videos of young girls going to get abortions dancing to the doors is disgusting and not something to have pride in doing.

Dr Jellyfinger January 20, 2022 at 7:30 AM

Using abortion as birth control is actually celebrated by liberal activists devoted to their insane beliefs..

Anon January 20, 2022 at 7:46 AM

Tik Tok is a cancer. I understand your sentiment, but comparing people on there to everyday people is a joke. No one is asking for sympathy or support, just the choice. Stop thinking you’re important in the grand scheme of things.

Anon January 20, 2022 at 7:34 AM

Y’all really have nothing better to do than protest people going to Planned Parenthood? Would any of you advocate for programs that help support pregnant women during and after pregnancy? I doubt it. Don’t judge a woman who decides whatever is best for her. No one wants abortion to happen. No one wants it to be needed, but we don’t live in a perfect world. It’s none of your business what someone chooses to do with their body. Bodily autonomy. Stop being crazy.

Bobfished January 20, 2022 at 3:02 PM

It only bothers me what they do with a 6, 7, 9 month old babies body. And please don’t tell me that a baby at 6 months is a clump of cells.

tiptoe January 20, 2022 at 8:16 AM

Awesome job WC!! Let everyone, especially women, get the services they need without getting harrassed. Y’all realized that Planned Parenthood provides more than just abortions, right? I know, crazy concept.
For my friends saying that they “kill unborn babies”, it’s not a baby, it’s a clump of cells. You wouldn’t call a seed an unborn tree, would you?

Bobfished January 20, 2022 at 3:04 PM

I would call a germinated seed at 6 months that is sprouting out of the earth a small tree.

Elisa January 20, 2022 at 9:31 PM

I don’t support abortion but planned parenthood provided needed health services to me when I couldn’t afford them elsewhere. Not only was I able to get a free contraceptive device, but also a general women’s health exam and a pelvic examination. Also, it is never acceptable to scream at and harass people who don’t share the same views. Do I agree with abortion? No. Do I believe in acting like a decent human being? Yes. (Btw, having an abortion creates enormous stress on the body and can be a risky procedure, especially late-term abortions. No doctors take this lightly and rarely encourage a patient to consider it as a first option. Also, not all some choose to have an abortion as “birth control”. A friend of mine was forced to have one after learning that her own life was at risk otherwise. It still tears her up to this day.) Don’t judge.

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