Planned Parenthood: Hostile protesters are intimidating patients, staff

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by KMOV.com Staff | @KMOV

KMOV.com

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 19 at 10:41 PM

(KMOV) – The Planned Parenthood president wants more action from city leaders for increasingly hostile protesters intimidating patients and staff at a local facility.

“They called me baby killer. I wasn't even there for that, I was there for a checkup,” said Erica Kalb as she walked into the facility on Forest Park Parkway.

After her appointment, she tried to leave and things, she said, got scary.

“When they started sticking their arms in my car, I had to grab my pepper spray,” she said.

Paula Gianino, President of Planned Parenthood, said patients and staff are subjected to verbal abuse, intimidation and protesters even walk across the driveway to block cars from driving in.

“Incredibly disturbing, our picketers are becoming increasingly hostile toward everyone who comes to this clinic,” said Gianino. “That’s what we see on a day in and day out basis and I can tell you we are frustrated by it.”

She said she would like to get city leaders to pass better ordinances so police can protect the driveway of any business being picketed.

“So we don't have the potential for danger for an accident, for tensions to flair. Those kind of things will and do happen,” said Gianino.

“I shouldn't feel intimidated whenever I go in to take care of my own body,” said Kalb.  “I was there for a women's wellness exam and I’m getting harassed for it.”

Now Planned Parenthood hands out cards to patients who feel harassed or threatened by protesters. It urges patients to call the mayor’s office to push for a new ordinance.

Kalb said she called and was transferred four times, given a different number and was then told to simply call the police.

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