The California Senate voted 26-12 to pass legislation on June 6 imposing state penalties on individuals who threaten or intimidate reproductive healthcare providers, staff, or patients. The bill, a state rendition of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), also penalizes individuals who cause property damage at clinics or who block or attempt to block entrances to reproductive healthcare facilities.
Under the new law, those who attempt to block abortion clinics could face jail sentences of up to one year. Violaters of the federal FACE Act are subject to jail sentences of up to three years. The California law, however, allows local law enforcement to make arrests they previously could not have made under the federal law.