Are anti-abortion protesters harassing women or just exercising their first amendment right to free speech?

Proposals to cordon off areas around Planned Parenthoods in San Francisco were passed on to the Board of Supervisors after a hearing at City Hall on Thursday.

The 25-foot buffer zone that has been proposed is aimed at protecting patients going in and out of planned parenthood and other clinics in the city. The current ordinance, enacted in 1994, created an eight foot zone around patients going in and out of the clinic, but this is difficult to enforce.

"Whether it's the bubble ordinance or the white zone ordinance, it doesn't really provide the tools we need to protect these women, who are trying to access these services, from being harassed," David Campos, one of eleven San Francisco supervisors said. "We are trying to strike the right balance between people to express, and the right of women and families to access healthcare in San Francisco."

Activists typically carry posters with pictures of fetuses, hand out visual and textually graphic pamphlets, harass women and employees verbally. There is rife misinformation in much of their promotional material and is geared for shock value and not education.

History has proven that people can become violent with staff of abortion clinics like the case where Dr. George Tiller was murdered by an anti-abortion activist who shot him to death. The clinic that he worked at was recently reopened. And yesterday a bomb squad was sent to a Tacoma Planned Parenthood to investigate a backpack that was left outside. Police blew up the backpack, which only contained clothing, but tensions remain high.

Planned parenthood provides services such as breast cancer screenings, STI treatment, contraception and sexual education.