Providence mayoral candidate Brett Smiley has proposed an ordinance that would prohibit violent actions directed at any individual attempting to access or depart from any reproductive health care facility.
According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, over the past 37 years, there have been over 175,000 reported acts of disruption--including bomb threats and harassing calls--and over 6,400 reported acts of violence--including murders, bombings, arson, kidnappings, and assaults--outside such facilities around the nation.
Those in Providence who fail to comply with Smiley's ordinance would be subject to legal consequences and banned from coming within 25 feet of the facility for the remainder of the day. Smiley's proposal is based on a Massachusetts bill signed into law last week by Governor Deval Patrick.
Brett Smiley commented, "I'm proud to have spent much of my career fighting to protect women's access to health care at all costs, and that means protecting women who enter reproductive health care facilities from any type of harassment. Nationwide, we're seeing a troubling affront to women's reproductive rights, and that's why we need to be proactive about defending these rights here in Providence. As Mayor, I'm committed to putting forth this ordinance to the City Council and working tirelessly to see its passage."
Brett Smiley is running in the September Democratic primary for Mayor of Providence.