Federal Judge Upholds Oakland Bubble Zone Ordinance
Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that a 2008 Oakland city ordinance barring abortion protesters from coming within eight feet of women entering and exiting abortion clinics is constitutional. Anti-abortion protester Walter Hoye challenged the ordinance’s constitutionality, and claimed that police applied it unfairly to anti-abortion protesters after he was cited for violating the ordinance last year. However, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer found the law to be both neutral in content and applied appropriately by police who arrested Hoye.
In February 2008, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed the bubble zone ordinance, which allows patients and providers to enter and leave clinics free from harassment and intimidation while preserving free speech rights.