Friday, February 20, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle: Pastor sentenced for Oakland abortion protest, by Henry K. Lee:
A pastor at a Berkeley church was sentenced Thursday to three years' probation and fined $1,000 after becoming the first person convicted under an Oakland ordinance barring protesters from coming within 8 feet of anyone entering an abortion clinic.
Walter Hoye could have faced up to two years in jail after a jury convicted him last month of two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully approaching patients at the Family Planning Specialists Medical Group at Second and Webster streets.
The case was an emotional one, and pro-choice and anti-abortion advocates jammed the Oakland courtroom for the sentencing hearing. Dozens of people unable to find seats filled the hallway outside....
The "medical safety zone" around abortion clinics was set by the Oakland City Council in 2007. Abortion protesters must stay at least 8 feet from women, staff or escorts entering the buildings.