The city of San Francisco will now allow pro-life activists to remain present outside of abortion facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping women to choose life and access resources to assist them through their pregnancies and beyond.
On April 2, 2020, officers from the San Francisco Police Department issued a criminal citation to 86-year-old Ron Konopaski for standing outside of the Valencia Planned Parenthood business while the city continued to be under a “stay-at-home” order due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Konopaski and fellow pro-lifers, including Pro-Life San Francisco founder and president Terrisa Bukovinac, were following social distancing rules while maintaining a pro-life presence outside of the facility. After Konopaski was given the citation, Life Legal attorneys contacted the San Francisco city attorney’s office, arguing that the pro-lifer’s right to free speech was wrongfully denied under the stay-at-home order. The order allowed people to be outside.
“We are not going to leave these women to fend for themselves or to be victims of yet another greedy and vicious industry that thrives off of violence and the marginalized,” said Bukovinac in a video filmed of the incident with police. She added that their attorneys would be speaking with the police to clarify the rules of the stay-at-home order.
Attorneys from Life Legal did just that and were able to come to an agreement with San Francisco city attorneys which would allow pro-lifers to continue to counsel women on their pregnancy options while standing outside of abortion businesses in the city, including Planned Parenthood.
Konopaski has been faithfully praying outside of Planned Parenthood in San Francisco for over a decade. Last year, he was assaulted in front of this same abortion business, yet police failed to take action to track down and apprehend his assailant, according to Life Legal Senior Staff Counsel Allison Aranda.
Pro-lifers across the country are facing obstacles in continuing their pro-life mission amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, abortion businesses are continuing to commit non-essential abortions while all other elective surgeries are largely postponed. “Abortion is the number one cause of death in America today and it is elective by definition,” said Bukovinac. “And yet, this facility remains open against the Stay-at-Home order….”
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