Ninth Circuit Rules 'Wanted' Posters, Nuremberg Files Website are Threats Under FACE
WASHINGTON, DC – In a victory for pro-choice advocates, an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit today ruled that WANTED-style posters and an Internet hit list are threats under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). The court upheld the injunctive relief in the case but remanded the case for further review regarding the size of the punitive damage award.
“Today, the Ninth Circuit took a major step toward combating the climate of fear and violence that plagues abortion clinics throughout the nation,” stated Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “We welcome the Court’s decision and hope that it will help end the domestic terrorism that providers, clinic workers, and patients face daily.” The National Clinic Access Project of the Feminist Majority Foundation led a group of 13 reproductive rights organizations that filed an amicus brief in the case.
The case challenged two types of threats. First, the defendants had distributed “Wanted”-style posters with doctor’s names on them; there has been a pattern of such posters being distributed before the murder of abortion providers. Second, the case challenged the Nuremberg Files website which collected personal information about abortion providers, made that information publicly available, grayed the names of providers who had been injured, and struck out the names of providers who had been killed.
“The defendants kept asserting that this case was about the First Amendment,” Smeal said. “Threats are not protected by the First Amendment and that is was these posters and the website are. We expect that the website will be closed down. We hope that anti-abortion extremists will learn that the violence and fear they preach will not be tolerated.”
Founded in 1987, the Feminist Majority Foundation is the largest feminist research and action organization in the country. For more information, visit www.feminist.org.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .