Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-28-06

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.

LEARN MORE Read a Ms. magazine article on the NOW v. Scheidler case, “Terror in the Name of the Lord”

LEARN MORE Read Eleanor Smeal’s statement on the day the case was argued, November 30, 2005

JOIN Ms. and receive the premier feminist magazine delivered to your door

Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation; Supreme Court decision 2/28/06; NOW release 2/28/06


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/27/2014 White House Releases New Rules Governing Birth Control Mandate - Tthe White House released new health insurance rules Friday for nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses to comply with the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. . . .
 
8/27/2014 Study Highlights Disparities in Well-Being for Girls in Southern States - A recent report by the Girl Scouts Research Institute shows that the Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic are the best regions of the United States to raise girls, while the South - specifically Mississippi, Arkansas, and Georgia - is the worst. The findings were based on 23 indicators of education, extracurricular activities, emotional health, physical health, safety and economic well-being. . . .
 
8/27/2014 California Legislature Votes to Restrict Sterilization of Prison Inmates - Both the California Senate and assembly unanimously passed a bill last week significantly restricting the sterilization of state prison inmates. SB1135 bans the practice of sterilization with a few exceptions, including if the person's life is in danger or sterilization is medically necessary to treat a diagnosed condition. . . .