New York City Council Unveils Clinic Access Bill
Last week, the New York City Council held a hearing on a bill to protect access to reproductive health clinics. The Clinic Access Bill was introduced in September by Speaker Christine Quinn in order to protect both patients and health care providers at local clinics from the harassment they face from anti-abortion protesters. Recent examples of harassment include doctors being knocked to the ground, clinic doors being blocked, and protesters misleading women and instructing them to get into cabs in order to go to the “real” clinic.
The new legislation would allow clinic employees as well as patients to file charges against protesters. The bill also lessens the burden of proof currently required to prosecute the charges.
According to the Women’s Issues Committee chair, “this bill will ensure this right against unlawful harassment and intimidation, and will guarantee that every woman can make the reproductive choices that are best for her.”
There has been widespread support for the bill, and it is expected to pass.