Fixed Buffer Zone

On Dec 2, the San Diego City Council and mayor passed a “Fixed Buffer Zone” ordinance which will affect pro-life activists and their protests. Local activists promise a response to what they call an “unconstitutional” law.

The new ordinance replaces the “bubble” ordinance of five years, which the Supreme Court recently ruled unconstitutional.

“We stood before the mayor three years ago and said, ‘This is unconstitutional!’ We were right,” said Troy Newman, director of Operation Rescue, San Diego. “Once again, we declare to the City Council this law is unconstitutional….Mayor Golding and the City Council have an agenda: Persecute peaceful Christians and appease abortion clinics.”

The ordinance dictates that a person can ask a protester to get 15 feet away from an entrance (door, driveway, sidewalk, etc.) or exit. It defines that ‘person’ as one entering or exiting a church, school or health-care facility.

The council discussed the issue with both sides and announced that they had resolved the vagueness problem pointed out by the pro-life side. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) did not oppose the ordinance, but Sylvia Sullivan of the California Coalition for Life, asked, “When was the last time the ACLU defended the rights of pro-lifers? It just doesn’t happen.”

Sullivan also suggested that even though the ordinance applies to schools, teachers’ unions, with regards to future strikes, are not concerned because, “…They know that this…is simply not directed at them.”

Of the council members, only George Stevens voted against the ordinance. Byron Wear disappointed pro-life activists who offered what Sullivan called, a “…gutless ‘yes’ vote.”

Operation Rescue California’s Director Jeff White voiced his displeasure.

“This is both a bone to throw [to] the pro-aborts and a stick to beat the pro-lifers with the injustice is clear. The City Council should be ashamed of themselves.”

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