Clinic facilities

San Mateo considering clinic buffer zone ordinance | Local News

The San Mateo City Council plans to discuss protecting patients from bullying at the San Mateo Family Planning Clinic by implementing a buffer zone ordinance.

“Access to reproductive health services is under attack, and we must do everything we can to ensure all of our residents have open and unfettered access to care,” San Mateo Deputy Mayor Diane Papan said in a statement. Press. “I worked with Planned Parenthood and city staff to help craft this ordinance to both help local residents continue to access care, protect clinic staff, and strongly affirm our rights – at least in our community.”

The ordinance would establish a buffer zone within 100 feet of the entrance to a reproductive health care facility, prohibit walking within 8 feet of anyone entering or exiting the facility, and prevent anyone block or harass vehicles in the parking lot. It would also prevent people from blocking access or leaving the entrance or driveway. The order follows a recent leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that shows the court is considering overturning Roe v. Wade of 1973 regarding a woman’s right to choose an abortion.

Council will consider first reading at its May 16 meeting. According to the press release, several people have made it harder for visitors to Planned Parenthood since at least 2014 by jumping in front of vehicles, blocking driveways and harassing people.

“Protecting patients from harassment, privacy breaches and intimidation is fundamental to preserving access to essential healthcare services,” Papan said. “As many states cut access to reproductive health, our community must stand up for our residents and ensure everyone can get the care they need.”