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Planned Parenthood sues Fontana for allegedly blocking abortion access

Planned Parenthood sues Fontana over moratorium blocking construction on new clinic
Planned Parenthood sues Fontana over moratorium blocking construction on new clinic 02:15

Planned Parenthood filed a formal complaint against the city of Fontana for allegedly blocking abortion access, which recently became a right protected by the California Constitution. 

"We did not want to be among the first organizations to file a lawsuit alleging violation of Californians' constitutional rights under Proposition 1," regional president Jon Dunn said. "However, we have chosen to defend the rights of our community members against the city of Fontana, due to their deliberate actions to actively deny their community access to healthcare services."

The legal action stems from the city enacting a 10-month moratorium on new construction in the area where the Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties planned to establish one of their health centers. The agency claimed it received verbal approval from Fontana's Director of Planning and the city's engineering department on July 12. 

The exterior of a Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center
The exterior of a Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center. Michael B. Thomas / Getty Images

However, about two weeks later, Planned Parenthood received notice that there would be a moratorium on building in the same area where it planned to establish its clinic. 

"These efforts to block construction of a Planned Parenthood health center are not motivated by concern for the health of their citizens, but instead by political pressure from a small, vocal, out-of-touch special interest group that has spread misinformation and pressured City Council members into making policy based on ideology, not facts," Dunn stated. 

Spokesperson Nichole Ramirez said local churches demonstrated after they learned about the planned health center. 

"Then directly after that the City Council had voted on a moratorium to block construction permits," she said.

Based on the information provided to Planned Parenthood, they are the only business impacted by the legislation.

The agency claimed Fontana's moratorium violates residents' right to abortion, contraception, and reproductive health access, which was memorialized in the California Constitution in January 2023.

KCAL News reached out to Fontana. A spokesperson said they have not received the lawsuit and had no comment.

Planned Parenthood believes its potential healthcare center could provide up to 36,000 medical visits annually and create at least 24 local jobs. 

The legal action of filing a formal complaint is a precursor to a lawsuit against a public agency.

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