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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Clinic Access Law

In a major victory for abortion rights, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a U.S. appeals court ruling that sustained the constitutionality of the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which prohibits blocking abortion clinic entrances, injuring or intimidating women seeking abortions or the staff of the abortion clinic. In 1996, 25 individuals were charged, under FACE, with blocking an abortion clinic in New Jersey. They appealed to the U.S. appeals court and Supreme Court arguing FACE was unnecessary because local law enforcement were enough to protect women seeking abortions. However, the U.S. appeals court and Supreme Court disagreed, citing the reason Congress enacted FACE was in response to nationwide anti-abortion violence so intense it overwhelmed local law enforcement.

Sources:

Reuters Ð April 16, 2001

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