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Oakland, CA City Council Votes to Approve Clinic Safety Ordinance

The City Council of Oakland, CA voted on Wednesday to approve an ordinance that establishes safety zones around women’s health clinics, and requires protestors to stay at least eight feet away from patients entering the clinics. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the ordinance is meant to address “an increasing number of complaints of harassment and intimidation” at three women’s health clinics in Oakland.

“I’m there on the battleground,” said Terry Sandoval, an escort who told the committee she has been harassed by protesters at Oakland clinics. “I believe a woman should be able to enter a clinic without being harassed, without being stopped.”

The final vote for the ordinance is scheduled for December 4, reports the Oakland Tribune. If it is adopted, the penalties for violations could be up to a year in county jail and up to $2,000 in fines.

Sources:

The Oakland Tribune 11/7/07; The San Francisco Chronicle 10/24/07