California is one of the most pro-choice states in America. But it’s also notorious for its local NIMBYism. Increasingly, these two convictions are clashing, setting up showdowns in some California cities.
Last year, City News reported on an abortion clinic’s complaints against the City of Beverly Hills. DuPont Clinic, which specializes in 'late-term' procedures, alleges local officials conspired with activists to push it out of town — a claim the city has denied.
Planned Parenthood is suing the City of Fontana over a new clinic that was supposed to open on Sierra Ave. There were numerous permit disputes and ultimately a moratorium on construction, which PP is seeking to remove.
Bureaucratic delays have also impacted planned abortion facilities in Visalia and El Centro.
“It’s striking because here we are in bright blue, California, and I think the perception from other parts of the country is that we’re wildly supported here,” Jon Dunn of Planned Parenthood told POLITICO. “The Governor has been a champion for us, as has our legislature, but municipality by municipality, it can be very different.”
Cities and residents do have legitimate safety concerns, as the clinics remain a target for violent threats and heated protests. Fontana saw demonstrations Saturday organized by an anti-abortion group known as The White Rose Foundation. Hundreds of activists participated in the event even after the city denied the protesters a permit.
Battles between abortion providers and localities are expected to continue as more clinics try to open across the Golden State. Providers say the expansion is needed to meet rising demand from outside residents seeking reproductive care in blue states.