Clashes intensify outside Walnut Creek Planned Parenthood, city considers putting up a barrier between patients and protesters

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) – The city of Walnut Creek says fighting has recently escalated outside a local Planned Parenthood clinic, prompting officials to talk about creating a buffer zone to keep the protesters away from those seeking an abortion.

Many of the protesters packed up and dispersed once they saw the news camera focus on them.

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Local officials say they have received comments that sidewalk protests have intensified recently with people blocking the sidewalk or driveway. Volunteers escorting women to abortions say some protesters use megaphones to call their clients murderers.

“Texas has encouraged people who are against the right to choose, anti-Planned Parenthood and anti-health care and come forward and are more vocal and more animated and have become more aggressive,” said volunteer Robin Poppino -Kuntz.

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Christian Aladdin, a neighbor who was walking his dog, said: “I walk here every day and have been harassed. They asked me what I thought about it and I didn’t say anything and it turned into a big argument.”

“We don’t block anyone. We don’t stop anyone. We keep the sidewalk so that people have a clear aisle,” protester Jim Crowley said.

Crowley is with the group 40 Days for Life, a grassroots movement to end abortion. They say they offer help to women by handing out brochures on other options.

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Another protester said: “I can tell you that we will never harass a woman. Sometimes there are two different groups that are here.”

She blames the encounters on other people who show up, adding that she is afraid to show her face because of the counter-protesters.

The City of Walnut Creek is already drafting new regulations to control access to the Planned Parenthood clinic.

“We can see if we can have a buffer zone that can create a space between protesters and patients, as well as between protesters and opposing protesters. Whether that space is 15 feet, 20 feet, or 30 feet, we’ll see what that is. “. and we’ll see what comes back to us in Council, “said Walnut Creek Mayor Kevin Wilk.

The public discussion should start next month.

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