Pro-Choice Forces Receive Second Major Victory in Two Days Over Domestic Terrorism
Pro-choice supporters received their second victory against domestic terrorism today as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in an unusual opinion to review en banc the three-judge panel decision in Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Willamette, et al. v. American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA), et al., also known as the “Nuremberg Files” case. In this groundbreaking case, the court ruled in 1999 that “WANTED” posters and Internet sites targeting and threatening doctors were “true threats” and not protected free speech by the U.S. Constitution. A jury found the defendants liable for threats under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and awarded plaintiffs a $107.5 million judgment. In March 2001, a three-judge panel reversed that determination saying that the First Amendment protected ACLA’s actions.
In the March decision, the Court characterized anti-abortion extremists as “modern day patriots,” language which only serves to condone behavior that the FBI, a federal jury, and a district court had already agreed were threats of violence. Our research shows that when the Supreme Court refuses to curtail these terrorist activities, (Bray v. Alexandria), violence at clinics escalated.
“In fighting terrorism, we must also combat domestic extremist groups in our own country. Just in the last two days, two appellate Circuit Courts have shown their zero tolerance for domestic terrorism,” said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. “We are very pleased that the Ninth Circuit has agreed to rehear this case, and we expect that this en banc review panel will agree with the jury and reinstate the verdict.”
Led by the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project, a group of reproductive rights groups including NARAL, the NARAL Foundation, California NARAL, Montana NARAL, Washington State NARAL, the National Abortion Federation, the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, the National Organization for Women Foundation, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Women’s Health Foundation, Northwest Women’s Law Center, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health and the Women’s Law Project filed an amicus brief urging that the full Court hear the case. Other amicus briefs were filed by the American Medical Association and 43 members of Congress.
The Feminist Majority Foundation is the largest feminist research and action organization in the country. Founded in 1987, the Feminist Majority Foundation spearheads projects to empower women in all sectors of society, including medicine, law enforcement, academia, politics, and the world wide web. The Feminist Majority Foundation is the sister organization to the Feminist Majority, a cutting edge, public policy organization dedicated to advancing women’s equality. For further information about the Feminist Majority and the Feminist Majority Foundation, visit www.feminist.org.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .