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File #: 1458-2016    Version:
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 5/24/2016 In control: Rules & Reference Committee
On agenda: 6/20/2016 Final action: 6/22/2016
Title: To amend Chapter 2317 of the Columbus City Code in order to provide protection for health care workers and patients to access health care facilities and reproductive health care facilities.
Sponsors: Elizabeth Brown
Explanation

This ordinance amends Chapter 2317 of Columbus City Codes with the addition of provisions that protect health care workers and patients attempting to access health care facilities and reproductive health care facilities and to do so free from obstruction and harassment. The new provisions prohibit harassment and/or obstruction of health care facilities and reproductive health care facilities, a violation of which is subject to a charge of misdemeanor in the first degree.
This ordinance is in response to both recent local and nationwide events surrounding reproductive health care facilities and the disturbing trend of increasing threats of violence and vandalism of these facilities. The Columbus Division of Police has indicated an increase of more than 170% in requests for police services at local reproductive health service facilities; the total number of calls increased from 14 in 2011 to 38 in 2015. The need exists to provide additional protections to health care workers and patients and to define punitive measures against those who would seek to cause harm to those citizens providing and receiving health care services.
If enacted, the ordinance prevents any person from doing the following:
• Physically obstructing or blocking another person from entering into or exiting from the premises of a reproductive health care facility by physically striking, shoving, restraining, grabbing, or otherwise subjecting the person to unwanted physical contact, or attempt or threaten to do the same;
• Obstructing or blocking the premises of a reproductive health care facility, so as to impede access to or from the facility;
• Engage in disorderly conduct as set forth in section 2317.11 of Columbus City Code within fifteen feet of the premises of a reproductive health care facility;
• Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly commit acts within fifteen feet of the premises of a reproductive health care facility when that behavior places another person in reaso...

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