San Francisco News
Banners for anti-abortion event line Market St. in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- When is free speech, hate speech? That debate is being played out in San Francisco where banners advertising a demonstration by those opposed to abortion have created a firestorm.
Banners along Market Street proclaim "Abortion HURTS Women." There are 50 of them prominently hanging from city lampposts promoting a Jan. 25 event.
"We did everything legally, we did everything by the book," said Walk for Life West Coast co-founder Eva Muntean. "We met every criteria. There is no reason at all for this to be an issue right now."
But it is an issue. Critics like Ellen Shaffer, co-director of the Trust Women Silver Ribbon Campaign, say the message is a lie.
"The truth is that abortion is one of the safest procedures women can have," Shaffer said. "It is critical, access to safe and legal abortions are critical to women's health."
For the past decade those who oppose abortion have hosted what they call a Walk for Life. They've advertised on billboards and Muni buses. This time they chose the banners. And the controversy could generate an even larger crowd than the more than 40,000 who attended last year.
"One of the things that the city is always talking about is how tolerant they are and how they're open to all views," Muntean said. "And here we are with a view that's different than what some San Franciscans believe and they are trying to shut us down."
Supervisor David Campos says the banners on city-owned property are spreading misinformation about abortion and city policy.
"I think that we in government have a responsibility to be on record saying that, you know, in San Francisco we do trust women, we respect their right to decide for themselves and we're going to protect that right," Campos said.
He has sponsored a resolution asking for a review of the criteria for accepting ads and to determine if the banners violate city law.
abortion, religion, protest, san francisco news, carolyn tyler
- 1 dead, 2 injured in Redwood City boating accident
- Mother, child killed in San Francisco fire
- San Francisco officials plan to crack down on "420"
- SF Chinese community faces fallout from Yee arrest
- Possible explosive prompts evacuations in Solvang
- Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
- BART unveils new train car design in SF
- Man accused of killing Sierra LaMar appears in court
- VIDEO: Man kicked in head taking selfie in...
- Angels beat A's 5-4 on Iannetta's HR in 12th
- Photos: The 10 worst jobs for 2014
- San Jose Sharks holding rally to kick off playoff run
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Thursday
- roundup: Fatal house fire in SF; Oakland shooting
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos