#PNN_Sacramento Capitol Building in California

As the U.S. Supreme Court nears an expected decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Sacramento City Council Tuesday passed an emergency ordinance aimed at deterring harassment of patients and staff outside Planned Parenthood clinics.

The ordinance, which goes into effect immediately, expands on an existing code that prohibits harassment of people within 100 feet of health care facilities.

The new measure retains the same distance for protections against harassment, but details potential criminal penalties and empowers police to order the immediate dispersal of any groups who appear to violate the ordinance.

Now, people who violated the ordinance could be charged with a misdemeanor offense and face civil penalties of $250 to $25,000 per violation.

The new ordinance adds language to prohibit protesters from approaching people in their vehicles seeking to enter or exit the parking lot in order to harass or intimidate. It says the ordinance is in effect one hour before and one hour after the facility’s business hours.

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