In a victory for pro-choice advocates, the US Supreme Court let stand a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that WANTED-style posters and an Internet hit list are threats under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). "In deciding to reject the anti-abortion extremists' appeal, the Supreme Court today has made it clear that FACE prohibits not only acts of violence, but threats of violence against abortion providers," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF). "With the recent adverse decision in NOW v. Scheidler, this decision upholding FACE is more important than ever in countering anti-abortion clinic violence."
The decision comes at a time when clinic violence levels are rising, according to the Feminist Majority Foundation's National Clinic Violence Survey. In addition, the survey found an apparent reduction in the response to and prosecution of potential FACE violations by federal law enforcement authorities. "Threats are not protected by the First Amendment," said Katherine Spillar, executive vice president of FMF. "We urge the U.S. Department of Justice to aggressively pursue and prosecute anti-abortion extremists under FACE."
The Feminist Majority Foundation filed the major amicus brief on clinic violence in Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Willamette, et al. v. American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA), et al, better known as the "Nuremberg Files" case.
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. The court's decision denied their request to temporarily block the legislation pending a final ruling on its constitutionality, rubber stamping the efforts of Oklahoma politicians to force doctors to use an outdated protocol for administering a medication abortion using the drug mifepristone - one that the medical community and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rejected in favor of a new standard of care that calls for a significantly lower dosage. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .