The following comes from a Jan. 14 story in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Mayor Ed Lee may be staying out of the brouhaha over a series of anti-abortion banners on this liberal city’s main thoroughfare, but the Board of Supervisors isn’t.
On Tuesday, Supervisor David Campos introduced a resolution that would put the board on record opposing the banners, which read “Abortion hurts women” and were put up last month in anticipation of a January 25 antiabortion rally.
While the Department of Public Works, which issued the permits for the banners, has already weighed in, saying they do not consider content — only whether there’s profanity or nudity — Campos’ resolution calls for a review of the city’s permitting process of the banners. The resolution states that they “appear to violate City regulations in several respects, including failure to fit a category of permissible banners, failure to display an accurate date for a related event, and failure to avoid lamp posts that also display holiday snowflakes.” An aide for Campos said he plans to hold a hearing on the issue.
Campos also calls for the city to devote all proceeds from the banners to a campaign “to educate vulnerable populations regarding true information about reproductive health and rights, including accurate information about the safety of abortions.”
While the resolution (excerpted below) may have many San Franciscans nodding in agreement, it’s seems unlikely that city has any legal right to refuse to post something simply because politicians don’t like the message. Remember those anti-Muslim ads on Muni?
In case you’re interested, here are a few of the resolution’s 12 “whereas” clauses:
“WHEREAS, Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in the United States and the risk of death is 12 times higher for carrying a pregnancy to term, compared with abortion, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; and
WHEREAS, Many women routinely lost their lives from illegal abortions before the landmark Supreme Court Case, Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion in 1973; and
WHEREAS, One in three American women will have an abortion by age 45 and 95% of heterosexually active couples have used birth control; and
WHEREAS, Denied abortion care perpetuates poverty, and women with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level are already five times more likely to have unintended pregnancies; and
WHEREAS, We are proud that San Francisco and California have strong policies to assure women’s reproductive health rights, which include ready access to affordable and legal family planning services, including abortion care;
and WHEREAS, The prominent display of false anti-abortion statements on public property on Market Street misrepresents the City’s support for reproductive health, rights, and justice, undermines women’s personal and private medical decisions, and thereby undermines public health.”
To read the original story, click here.