Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Anti-Abortion Extremist
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has handed down another defeat for anti-abortion extremists who have attempted to challenge a law meant to protect access to abortion clinics. Meredith Raney, an anti-choice activist in Florida, had filed a lawsuit in Orlando against the Aware Woman clinic, claiming that his activities as a pro-life “sidewalk counselor” in front of abortion clinics was protected under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). In fact, the 1994 federal law was passed with the intention of protecting clinics and clinic staff from anti-abortion violence and makes it a federal violation to use force, threat of force, or intimidation against a person attempting to obtain or provide reproductive health services. The Atlanta court rejected Raney’s argument that his activities were protected because it was clear he was not seeking or providing reproductive health services. Raney has moved for a rehearing before a full court and, should that court uphold the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, it is possible that Raney may appeal his case to the US Supreme Court. Similar cases filed by anti-abortion extremists are pending in several other cities across the country.
Media Resources: Florida Today – 12 September 2000 and Feminist Majority Foundation