NOW v. Scheidler is no Anti-Choice Victory
Yesterday the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Now v. Scheidler, a case that sought to use federal racketeering laws to protect clinics from violent, harassing anti-choice protestors. While the Court ruled against using the Hobbs Act to protect clinics, abortion providers remain protected under the Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances (FACE) Act, which Congress passed in 1994. As I said in a news release we issued earlier today, this ruling absolutely should not be interpreted as a victory for anti-choice extremists.
The FACE Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress has ever passed regarding clinic safety. The Scheidler lawsuit was initiated in 1986, before clinics had federal protections from violent protestors. At that time, clinics were under siege from blockades and women were forcibly blocked from clinic entrances by anti-choice protesters. The FACE act made it illegal to use “force or threat of force” to stop women from accessing safe, necessary health care.
Find out more about the FACE Act and how it’s helped keep NAF members safe.
In other news, the New York State Legislature is considering a law that would make it easier for women to obtain emergency contraception (EC). The bill would allow pharmacists to write prescriptions for EC, so women could obtain the medication without having to visit their doctor. Because EC is most effective if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it is essential that women can access it as quickly as possible.