Anti-Abortion Individuals Arrested and Charged for Violating FACE Act
For Immediate Release: March 30, 2022
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Today, nine people have been charged with federal civil rights offenses for blocking access to an abortion clinic in Washington, D.C. in 2020. Their acts violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a 1994 law that makes it a crime to threaten, obstruct, or injure a person seeking access to a reproductive health clinic or to damage clinic property.
Statement from Melissa Fowler, National Abortion Federation’s Chief Program Officer:
“It is absolutely paramount that people seeking access to abortions are able to do so safely and without intimidation, and that providers are able to support their patients without fear of retaliation or harrassment. We wholeheartedly respect the rights, privacy, and dignity of all those seeking and providing care.
We are grateful to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for seeing the acts of these nine individuals for what they are, an outright violation of the FACE Act. The FACE Act makes it a federal crime to physically obstruct the entrance to a clinic or to use force, the threat of force, or physical obstruction, such as a sit-in, to interfere with, injure, or intimidate clinic workers or those seeking abortions or other reproductive health services. People deserve to access abortion care without harassment or interference and we hope this indictment sends a clear message that obstructing access to abortion care will not be tolerated.
Today, the constitutional right to abortion is under greater threat than ever before and some states are rapidly moving to unconstitutionally restrict or completely eliminate people’s access to abortion care. With this grave context in mind, we stand strongly behind the DOJ’s use of the FACE Act to indict these nine individuals and to uphold the rights of those seeking and providing abortion care.”