ɫ̳

Skip to content
Planned Parenthood volunteer Kylie Hunter, from Costa Mesa, helps place a banner on a fence outside of the stalled Planned Parenthood facility at the corner of Sierra and San Bernardino Avenues in Fontana on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Volunteers with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties also tied 2,000 pink ribbons on the fence around the site of the stalled Planned Parenthood health center as the organization launched a campaign against the Fontana City Council’s decision to block construction of the center. Organizers say each ribbon represents a Fontana patient who could have received care this month but didn’t because the Fontana City Council stalled and then blocked PPOSBC’s health center. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
Planned Parenthood volunteer Kylie Hunter, from Costa Mesa, helps place a banner on a fence outside of the stalled Planned Parenthood facility at the corner of Sierra and San Bernardino Avenues in Fontana on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Volunteers with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties also tied 2,000 pink ribbons on the fence around the site of the stalled Planned Parenthood health center as the organization launched a campaign against the Fontana City Council’s decision to block construction of the center. Organizers say each ribbon represents a Fontana patient who could have received care this month but didn’t because the Fontana City Council stalled and then blocked PPOSBC’s health center. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
Author
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

of Orange and San Bernardino Counties say that 2,000 Fontana residents are being denied healthcare each month after city leaders blocked the opening of a Sierra Avenue clinic.

Volunteers and representatives from the organization visited the stalled clinic site Tuesday morning, Feb. 27, tying pink ribbons to fencing on the property as part of a public campaign to convince Fontana to lift a ban on development there.

Sadaf Rahmani, public affairs director for Planned Parenthood, called Fontana a “healthcare desert” lacking affordable medical care. She said she hoped the Fontana City Council would hear the voices of the community and understand why a clinic is needed.

“We want to offer a visual representation of what we mean when we say this is essential health care that the community needs,” Rahmani said Tuesday. “Each one of those ribbons represents the patient. And so I think having this visual representation is so important and hopefully this helps drive the message home even further.”

A city spokesperson said Tuesday officials would not comment on the matter, which is currently under litigation.

  • Planned Parenthood volunteer Kylie Hunter, from Costa Mesa, helps place...

    Planned Parenthood volunteer Kylie Hunter, from Costa Mesa, helps place a banner on a fence outside of the stalled Planned Parenthood facility at the corner of Sierra and San Bernardino Avenues in Fontana on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Volunteers with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties also tied 2,000 pink ribbons on the fence around the site of the stalled Planned Parenthood health center as the organization launched a campaign against the Fontana City Council’s decision to block construction of the center. Organizers say each ribbon represents a Fontana patient who could have received care this month but didn’t because the Fontana City Council stalled and then blocked PPOSBC’s health center. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Planned Parenthood volunteer Anna Spitz, from Santa Ana, places one...

    Planned Parenthood volunteer Anna Spitz, from Santa Ana, places one of 2,000 pink ribbons on a fence outside the stalled Planned Parenthood facility at the corner of Sierra and San Bernardino Avenues in Fontana on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Volunteers with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties tied 2,000 pink ribbons on the fence around the site of the stalled Planned Parenthood health center as the organization launched a campaign against the Fontana City Council’s decision to block construction of the center. Organizers say each ribbon represents a Fontana patient who could have received care this month but didn’t because the Fontana City Council stalled and then blocked PPOSBC’s health center. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Volunteers placed 2,000 pink ribbons, each representing a patient who...

    Volunteers placed 2,000 pink ribbons, each representing a patient who did not receive care this month at the stalled Planned Parenthood facility, on the fence of the facility at the corner of Sierra and San Bernardino Avenues in Fontana on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Volunteers with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties tied 2,000 pink ribbons on the fence around the site of the stalled Planned Parenthood health center as the organization launched a campaign against the Fontana City Council’s decision to block construction of the center. Organizers say each ribbon represents a Fontana patient who could have received care this month but didn’t because the Fontana City Council stalled and then blocked PPOSBC’s health center. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Planned Parenthood volunteer Alejandra Alonso, from Fontana, places one of...

    Planned Parenthood volunteer Alejandra Alonso, from Fontana, places one of 2,000 pink ribbons on a fence outside the stalled Planned Parenthood facility at the corner of Sierra and San Bernardino Avenues in Fontana on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Volunteers with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties tied 2,000 pink ribbons on the fence around the site of the stalled Planned Parenthood health center as the organization launched a campaign against the Fontana City Council’s decision to block construction of the center. Organizers say each ribbon represents a Fontana patient who could have received care this month but didn’t because the Fontana City Council stalled and then blocked PPOSBC’s health center. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Planned Parenthood volunteers Anna Spitz, left, from Santa Ana, and...

    Planned Parenthood volunteers Anna Spitz, left, from Santa Ana, and Julie Frausto, right, from Rialto, tie some of the 2,000 pink ribbons on a fence outside the stalled Planned Parenthood facility at the corner of Sierra and San Bernardino Avenues in Fontana on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Volunteers with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties tied 2,000 pink ribbons on the fence around the site of the stalled Planned Parenthood health center as the organization launched a campaign against the Fontana City Council’s decision to block construction of the center. Organizers say each ribbon represents a Fontana patient who could have received care this month but didn’t because the Fontana City Council stalled and then blocked PPOSBC’s health center. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Planned Parenthood volunteer Alejandra Alonso, from Fontana, places one of...

    Planned Parenthood volunteer Alejandra Alonso, from Fontana, places one of 2,000 pink ribbons on a fence outside the stalled Planned Parenthood facility at the corner of Sierra and San Bernardino Avenues in Fontana on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Volunteers with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties tied 2,000 pink ribbons on the fence around the site of the stalled Planned Parenthood health center as the organization launched a campaign against the Fontana City Council’s decision to block construction of the center. Organizers say each ribbon represents a Fontana patient who could have received care this month but didn’t because the Fontana City Council stalled and then blocked PPOSBC’s health center. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

of

Expand

Planned Parenthood filed a suit against Fontana in December 2023 after the council enacted a moratorium barring development at the site for the clinic, which would offer abortion services if opened.

The suit filed in San Bernardino Superior Court alleges the city violated its citizens’ constitutional rights.

Californians approved Proposition 1 in 2022, amending the state Constitution to enshrine access to abortion and contraception throughout the state.

“Fontana residents, Fontana voters in 2022 overwhelmingly voted to support Proposition 1 which enshrined the right to abortion and contraceptives into our California state constitution,” said Andrea Schmidt, public affairs senior project manager at Planned Parenthood. “So now we have the legal right to exhaustively get those services. So the council is unlawfully blocking us … that’s why we’re suing.”

Planned Parenthood estimates 2,000 patients are being denied care they’d receive at the Fontana site based on a 20% increase in patient volumes at other clinics in San Bernardino County, Schmidt said.

The organization reported an increase in patient volume in San Bernardino following the Supreme Court’s vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Abortion restrictions in neighboring states have pushed more patients to California for services, according to Planned Parenthood.

Schmidt, a life-long resident of Fontana, said her personal experience growing up in the city and attending local schools showed her the city is medically underserved and would benefit from the Planned Parenthood clinic.

“Fontana also has a higher rate of uninsured and folks on Medi-Cal (California’s public health insurance program) than the state average as well,” Schmidt said. “So we just think that really exemplifies the need for this increased access.”

Planned Parenthood leased the land for its proposed Sierra Avenue clinic in May 2022 and in late July 2023, shortly after receiving verbal approval to move the project forward, was notified the council had placed a moratorium on development at the site.

On Sept. 5, the council extended the moratorium for an additional 10 months and 15 days.

Planned Parenthood plans to keep the ribbons and signs up at the clinic site and will also have a mobile billboard traveling throughout the city until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

More in Local ɫ̳