Supreme Court Rules Against NOW, Clinics in Anti-Abortion Violence Case
The Supreme Court today issued an 8-0 decision in two related cases first brought by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and two clinics of the National Women's Health Organization on behalf of virtually all clinics and all women two decades ago. The Supreme Court’s decision in Scheidler, et al., v. NOW, et al. and Operation Rescue v. NOW, et al. lifted a nationwide injunction protecting virtually all women’s health clinics in the nation.
“I initiated this case almost 20 years ago as the president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) to stop the reign of terror perpetrated by anti-abortion extremists at clinics across the country. I believe that this lawsuit and its resulting nationwide injunction significantly contributed to reducing the level of violence at clinics. I only hope that the loss of the injunction does not embolden anti-abortion extremists to escalate domestic terrorism towards women’s reproductive health clinics,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
“Anti-abortion extremists, however, should not look at this as a great legal victory. State, local, and federal laws are now in place, such as the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, that have helped to dramatically reduce the level of violence against clinics. Law enforcement officials have made it clear that violence will not be tolerated at our nation’s clinics and that domestic terrorists will be arrested and prosecuted,” Smeal continued. The Feminist Majority, along with the National Organization for Women, helped to draft the FACE Act, which passed in 1994.
“This case was never about protests or pickets – it was about violence and extortion. But without strong protections against clinic assaults, the legal right to abortion could become meaningless. If women are too terrified to walk into clinics and healthcare providers are too terrified to keep their doors open, then we will have lost the fight for reproductive freedom even with Roe v. Wade still on the books,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. “We will not let that happen. …[W]e will use the [FACE Act] to its fullest extent in pursuing those who would use violent means to prevent women from making their own reproductive decisions.”
“We did all we could over the years to reduce violence at clinics. We used every legal tool available. Pursuing this case did reduce violence at clinics, and we cannot allow anti-abortion extremists to take this decision as a signal to once again increase violent activity aimed at clinics and clinic staff,” said Susan Hill, president of the National Women’s Health Organization, the owner of the two named clinics in the lawsuit.
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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. . . .
10/29/2014 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. . . .