Sacramento Considers "No Protest Zone" Near Abortion Businesses

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 2, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sacramento Considers "No Protest Zone" Near Abortion Businesses

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 2, 2003

Sacramento, CA ( — Prompted by some local leaders, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is considering a proposal that would place "no protest zones" around area abortion businesses.

One local abortion facility, Women’s Health Specialists, already has a 20-foot zone in place thanks to an order issued by a local judge. Now county officials are considering extending similar anti-protest zones around all local abortion centers.

Three members of the board staged a press conference at the state capitol to announce their support for the idea.

"Those who wish to offer a different opinion are able to do so, but they are not going to be permitted — under this ordinance — to do so in a way that interferes with the legitimate exercise of an equally important right," Supervisor Roger Dickinson told KRCA-TV.

Since the late 1980’s there have been no major protests in California, such as those groups like Operation Rescue organized in the past. In addition, none of the five protesters that were involved in the original lawsuit that led to the original 20-foot zone around Women’s Health Specialists have protested abortions in two years and three of the five haven’t participated in a protest in more than a decade.

That prompts pro-life attorneys to say there is no need for the protest free area.

"The buffer zone is useless due to the non-participation of those enjoined and [abortion] clinic employees are desperate," says Dana Cody, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation.

"Enter three pandering county supervisors beholding to abortion zealots," Cody added. "Now we will waste county resources debating a dead issue."

Another pro-life attorney, Cyrus Zal, argues such a law would limit the free speech rights of pro-life protesters and would cost the county because of expected lawsuits against it.

The supervisors will vote on the issue next Tuesday. San Diego and San Francisco have similar no-protest zones in place.