Nicholas Morency pled guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of “intimidating people providing reproductive health services,” facing a maximum sentence of 6 years imprisonment and a $350,000 fine. Prosecuted under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), Morency operated a website in January 1999 and offered a $1.5 million reward for the murder of abortion providers. He specifically targeted a Kansas physician by initials and mentioned groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Additionally, Morency posted messages to Planned Parenthood’s online bulletin board inviting people to his site. When the National Abortion Federation (NAF) discovered Morency’s site, they reported it to the Justice Department, who shut the site down just 24 hours later. NAF’s President Vicki Saporta praised the FBI and the Task Force on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers for their quick response and added, “We hope we can count on the Task Force under John Ashcroft to do the same.”
FMF’s National Clinic Access Project was instrumental in passing FACE, and its most recent research shows that 35 percent of reproductive health clinics nationwide experienced “threatening anti-abortion speech,” including internet harassment.