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 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 filed an amicus brief urging that the full Court hear the case. The American Medical Association and 43 members of Congress also filed other amicus briefs.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .