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Supreme Court Refuses FACE Challenge

In a clear victory for women’s reproductive health clinics, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear an appeal by anti-abortion protestors who were claiming that the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) that protects clinics against disruptive intrusions should be interpreted instead to protect those who attempt to obstruct access to clinics. “To construe the FACE Act to protect anti-abortion protestors’ illegal behavior would turn the statute on its head and convert a law intended to shield clinics from hostile attacks into a sword for those who would engage in such attacks,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, in hailing the Court’s decision. The Feminist Majority Foundation provided legal counsel for the clinic involved in the case. On Monday, the Court also refused to hear a challenge to FACE stemming from a New Jersey case involving clinic blockades. FACE has been crucial in curbing anti-abortion violence, according to the Feminist Majority Foundation and its National Clinic Access Project.

Sources:

Feminist Majority Foundation and Aware Woman Center Ð April 20, 2001