Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-03-99

Federal Jury Finds "Un-wanted" Posters And "Nuremberg Files" To Be Threats, Not Free Speech

Washington DC -- Today, in Portland Oregon, a jury handed down the precedent-setting decision in the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE ) and RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act) lawsuit, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette v. American Coalition of Life Activists et. al. This case originally filed in October, 1995, has resulted in the largest single punitive damage ever awarded by a jury to pro-choice forces, 107.5 million dollars. For the first time in a national case, "Un-Wanted Posters," and the infamous internet hit list "The Nuremberg Files" have been deemed threats under federal law, not protected free speech.
Both Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, and Katherine Spillar, National Coordinator of the Feminist Majority Foundation, have been targeted on the Nuremberg Files.

Smeal commented on the national significance of today's decision saying:

"Finally, common sense prevails - threats are deemed threats. This jury not only left no doubt that these are threats but by assessing a 107 million dollars in punitive damages, they said loud and clear that this is serious and must stop. We hope today's decision will embolden federal law enforcement to take criminal FACE and RICO cases to shut down the anti-abortion reign of terror once and for all.

For years, we have believed "Un-Wanted Posters" and similar materials amount to threats of violence against abortion providers and advocates.

Finally, after years of threats and violence, pro choice forces have succeeded in holding accountable in a federal case, a core of anti-abortion extremists whose actions we believe have endangered the lives of those who work every day in this country to provide women access to reproductive healthcare.

"This jury decision indicates a turning of the anti-abortion violent tide. Today's verdict marks the second time in less than a year a federal jury has found a nationwide network of extremists liable for an orchestrated campaign of terror. In April of 1998 pro-choice forces won the NOW et. al. v. Scheidler et. al. lawsuit, which found a network of extremists liable for over 100 counts of violence and extortion in violation of the federal RICO statute. After that victory, we called for federal law enforcement to take a criminal case to stop the terrorism at clinics. We renew that call today. We urge federal law enforcement authorities to bring this orchestrated campaign of terror and violence to an end through criminal prosecution under FACE and RICO."

Media Resources:


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

11/21/2014 STATEMENT: Feminist Majority Foundation Applauds President's Executive Order on Immigration - Statement from Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president: "The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds President Obama for taking much needed executive action to help fix our broken immigration system that has for too long torn hardworking families apart. . . .
 
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .
 
11/21/2014 UN Expert Calls for Action To End Violence Against Women in Afghanistan - United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo returned last week from a nine-day official visit in Afghanistan with a call to the Afghan Government and the international community to continue its focus on creating sustainable solutions to reduce violence against women. This was Manjoo's third visit to Afghanistan, and the Special Rapporteur noted many positive developments since her travel to the country in 1999, during the Taliban regime, and in 2005. In particular, Manjoo cited the creation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) by presidential decree in 2009 as "a key step towards the elimination of violence against women and girls."EVAW criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women - including rape, child and forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, and forced self-immolation - and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .