Pro-abortion banners on city-owned utility poles are illegal, says pro-life legal group
San Francisco is violating its own city code by allowing pro-abortion banners to hang from lampposts along a major thoroughfare that runs through downtown, the Life Legal Defense Foundation says.
“It goes without saying that ‘politics happen’ – but they should not happen on what appears to be the taxpayer dime on lampposts along Market Street in San Francisco,” LLDF said in a news release issued yesterday. “The Life Legal Defense Foundation has challenged the city of San Francisco with a blatant violation of its own city code.”
Beginning earlier this month, according to LLDF, “inflammatory political statements promoting a Ms. Magazine initiated pro-abortion campaign now waft over foot and auto traffic, as this municipal local marketing tool is abused, allowing feminist rhetoric to take the place intended for promotion of farmers’ markets and neighborhood festivals.”
“The city regularly authorizes the display of banners to promote ‘city-sponsored,’ ‘city-funded,’ or ‘city-wide’ events or ‘series of related events of interest to a significant portion of the residents of San Francisco and/or tourists,’” said the LLDF release. “San Francisco does allow some non-event banners to be posted on city-owned utility poles, but they are restricted to ‘city convention facility banners’ and ‘city neighborhood banners.’ A typical non-event banner would be the non-controversial San Francisco State University banners urging San Franciscans to ‘Support Public Higher Education: The Future Depends On It.’”
The banners to which LLDF objects are part of a drive by the Trust Women Silver Ribbon Campaign, and, according to LLDF, “bear blatantly political statements including ‘U.S. Out of My Uterus,’ ‘Reproductive Rights are Human Rights’ and ‘San Francisco is Pro-Choice.’”
Such slogans, said LLDF, “are clearly designed to provoke the ire of those who do not share the printed sentiments. The authors of the silver ribbon month website reference a 2011 pro-abortion Ms. Magazine blog as the impetus behind the project, which is actually an event only in the virtual sense.”
“The city minions who ‘approved’ these illegal banners might have thought that the public would ignore the challenge, but they are in error,” said Dana Cody, executive director of Life Legal Defense Foundation. “Opposition to these banners has been filed by Life Legal Defense Foundation attorneys and may be only the beginning of the public outcry.”
The banners have gone up just weeks before the 8th Walk for Life West Coast, which is held every year in San Francisco. Among the groups that have placed banners on downtown lampposts is the militantly pro-abortion Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR), which has long launched counter-demonstrations against the Walk for Life.
In December 2008, a BACORR leader said the group was trying to involve government, organized labor and a coalition of homosexual and women’s rights groups in a counter-demonstration to the Walk for Life.
This year’s Walk for Life West Coast will not “follow its familiar route from Justin Herman Plaza and along San Francisco’s waterfront,” organizers announced in October, because of “a scheduling conflict.” Instead, the new route will have tens of thousands of pro-lifers marching along Market Street — the same street where the pro-abortion banners are now hanging from city-owned lampposts.
The “scheduling conflict” referred to by Walk for Life West Coast sponsors is apparently with an event promoted by BACORR called the “West Coast Rally for Reproductive Justice,” which will be held the same day as the Walk for Life — Jan. 21 — and at Justin Herman Plaza, the traditional starting point for the pro-life event.
To read LLDF’s letter to city officials protesting the pro-abortion banners, Click Here.
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