Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News
The state of California has passed a law that creates a zone that protesters cannot penetrate around vaccination sites. This includes abortion clinics, most of which are offering COVID-19 injections.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed Senate Bill No. 742, which creates a 100-foot radius around injection sites that allows a fine of up to $1,000 or even jail time for anyone who holds a sign or speaks to someone within that area.
“The law deems certain free speech activities illegal if the intended audience is within 30 feet on a public sidewalk, and ‘within 100 feet of the entrance or exit of a vaccination site’ that a person is looking to exit or enter. The same restrictions apply if the person approached is sitting in a vehicle within those perimeters. In fact, rules even apply if the speaker is positioned on his own private property,” The Federalist reported.
California’s new mandate raises concerns about freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, considering that the state statute includes both public and private property in its sweeping scope of coverage.
According to The Federalist’s assessment of the new legislation, citizens are not allowed to move toward someone while holding a sign or hand out written materials, something that pro-life demonstrators do on a regular basis on their quest to help mothers choose something other than death for their children.
The law restricts not only freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, but could have a potential for future religious injustice if the law is left to stand.
Currently, the legislation has a stated purpose of protecting citizens from COVID-19, as well as “other infectious diseases,” such as measles, chickenpox, tuberculosis. The law states that things spread through “airborne transmission” should be protected against, as well as “future unknown infectious diseases” that might be spread the same way.
The terminology of the bill is such that a vaccination site is defined as including any “retail space or pop-up location” that offers the vaccine injection, and they are, therefore, places that fall under the bill’s protection.
Included in the text of the bill is a reference to the possibility of a violation of rights for those looking to exercise their First Amendment rights to assembly or freedom of speech:
“Existing law makes it a crime to, by force, threat of force, or physical obstruction that is a crime of violence, intentionally injure, intimidate, interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate, or interfere with any person or entity because that person or entity is a reproductive health services client, provider, or assistant, or with any person lawfully exercising or seeking to exercise the First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship.”
Pro-life volunteers, who have traditionally made their case peacefully and with care and concern in their methods, will, going forward, be blocked from taking part in their campaign to protect the lives of the unborn.
According to The Federalist, the state Right to Life has filed a suit in federal court, requesting that the law be examined further.
The rights of abortion clinics have been at the top of the pro-abortion advocates’ list since the Texas bill banning abortion in babies whose cardiac activity can be detected put a screeching halt on most abortions performed in the state. Groups such as Planned Parenthood have been asking for another way to obtain the right to operate, and California’s law appears to further protect the rights of a parent to kill her child. The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on two issues regarding the Texas case beginning on Nov. 1, according to The New York Post.