The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a claim that anti-abortion activists have a legal right to provide “sidewalk counseling” outside women’s reproductive health clinics. The Appeals Court determined that the plaintiffs failed to show a FACE violation. Plaintiffs argued that their “counseling” activities were protected under the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). Attorney for the Defendants Michael Spotts called the claim “ridiculous” saying that the plaintiffs were changing the intent of FACE to legally harass women. The FACE Act, passed in 1994, is intended to protect clinics and women seeking abortions by prohibiting anti-abortion protestors from blocking abortion clinic entrances or injuring or intimidating staff or patients at abortion clinics. The case is Lotierzo, et al. v. A Woman’s World, et al.
In 1999, the anti-choice Pregnancy Care Center opened across the street from A Woman’s World Clinic in Fort Pierce, Florida. Thomas J. Euteneuer, one of the plaintiffs in Lotierzo, et al. v. A Woman’s World, et al. and now the President of Human Life International, was on the board of directors. Volunteers from the Pregnancy Care Center would approach women on the sidewalks and access way to A Woman’s World to promote their anti-abortion agenda, causing many altercations.
In the same opinion, however, the Eleventh Circuit allowed Euteneur to proceed with a lawsuit in which he claims that a clinic staff member, Hazel Harding, threatened his life. Euteneur alleges that Harding made the threat in order to intimidate him from performing anti-abortion activities.
Media Resources: Miami Herald, 1/9/02; MSNBC.com, 1/8/02; Eleventh Circuit Court Opinion, Lotierzo, et al. v. A Woman’s World, et al.; Feminist Majority Foundation
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .