Tag Archives: FACE Act

Pro-lifers look beyond abortion clinic buffer zones to bubble zones, buffered homes

We are trying to get the WHOLE 11th circuit to review the case and then we will go tothe U.S. Supreme Court with it after that. It's never likely that SCOTUS will hear a case, but this one might just grab their attention. http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/pro-choice-pro-life-leaders-disagree-on-how-court-decision/article_f9de76f1-3200-53e1-bf25-ce958852056d.html http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-06-26/news/chi-abortion-protest-buffer-zone-20140626_1_buffer-zone-abortion-clinics-bubble-zone http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nightly-news/abortion-clinic-protest-ruling-to-impact-several-states-290115651826 http://twitchy.com/2014/06/26/free-speech-wins-scotus-unanimously-overturns-expansive-abortion-clinic-buffer-zones-left-goes-nuts/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_protection_of_access_to_abortion http://www.wbur.org/2014/06/26/mass-officials-will-seek-new-buffer-zone-rules http://go.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=44019&security=3161&news_iv_ctrl=-1 http://www.carbonated.tv/news/abortion-clinic-protests-photos-videos http://www.salon.com/2014/06/26/do_what_we_tell_you_to_do_or_we_will_kill_you/    The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision last week overturning Massachusetts’ 35-foot abortion clinic buffer zone law, which the court agreed unconstitutionally restricted the pro-life right to free speech, has implications far beyond similarly worded laws and ordinances around the country.

There are also what are called “floating bubble zone” laws, such as in Chicago, where pro-life advocates are restricted from entering an eight-foot imaginary bubble around a pregnant mother who is within 50 feet of an abortion clinic.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-06-26/news/chi-abortion-protest-buffer-zone-20140626_1_buffer-zone-abortion-clinics-bubble-zoneAnd there are home buffer zone free speech restrictions, such as in Winter Park, Florida, where in 2012 the city government enacted a 50-foot buffer zone ordinance banning any protests within 50 feet of a home after pro-life activists held signs in front of the home of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando’s CEO Jenna Tosh (pictured left).

Then there are court actions, such as was taken in Columbus, Ohio, in 2013, when a pro-life/anti-homosexual group was banned from protesting along a public road in front of a church where there are no sidewalks.

All of the aforementioned pro-life free speech restrictions are now getting second looks by the attorneys involved.

The Supreme Court opened the door to reanalyze such cases in its McCullen v Coakley decision, according to a constitutional expert on abortion law in an email to me. Here are the ways he believes the McCullen decision aids pro-life activists as well as puts more pressure on clinics:Supreme Court unanimous abortion clinic buffer zone decision in favor of pro-life advocates

  • It was a unanimous decision, including the most pro-abortion justices.
  • It favorably described pro-life sidewalk counselors.
  • It proclaimed free speech rights on public sidewalks.
  • It pushed back against writing and passing more “speech-free zones.”
  • It may limit the scope of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act for the first time since it was enacted. (The holding doesn’t affect FACE legally. However, it appears to reaffirm First Amendment rights on public sidewalks, which were thrown into doubt to some extent by the Hill v Colorado decision in 2000. So it seems to be a “buffer” against applications of FACE by the Obama administration.)
  • It may encourage greater boldness of pro-lifers on the sidewalks and public ways by clarifying the law and clarifying their right to be there

A buffer zone by any other name…

Attorney Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society, the pro-life legal group that has taken the lead in opposing the Chicago ordinance, wrote me in an email he plans to take action by the end of summer in light of the McCullen decision:

Really, the “bubble” is from my perspective just a buffer zone within the buffer zone, since it creates a 50 foot buffer – very broad even by comparison with the overbroad Massachusetts buffer – within which a pro-lifer is forbidden from “approaching” anybody. As noted Supreme Court blogger Tom Goldstein was quoted, “All buffer zones are now presumptively unconstitutional.”

Thomas More Society is also the lead group on the Columbus, Ohio, case, and Brejcha told me he plans to take action there as well.

Winter of pro-life discontent

Likewise, one of the pro-life attorneys working on the Winter Park lawsuit wrote me in an email, “We intend to use the McCullen v Coakley case as it does provide helpful arguments.”

The Winter Park ordinance was half struck down by an 11th Circuit Court panel, but pro-lifers are asking the entire 11th Circuit to review the case and will go on to the Supreme Court, if need be.

[Top photo via Chicago Tribune]

Pro-life news brief 1-17-14

by JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • The Washington Post has one of those columns from one of those professors who write some of those books which attempt to study pro-life people or Christians like we’re exotic animals. It has some hilarious assertions, like claiming that pro-life legislation on the state level “largely went unnoticed, and thus popularly unopposed, until Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibuster brought attention to the strategy.”
  • Joshua Wilson is writing about Massachusetts’ 35-foot buffer zone law, comparing sidewalk counseling and clinic blockades, but never mentioning the FACE Act (which has a much greater effect on clinic blockades than any buffer zone law).
  • At National Review, Ed Whelan points out that the primary evidence Massachusetts’ lawyer cites for why the 35-foot buffer zone was needed is “pro choice advocates swearing and screaming at pro life advocates” in the smaller buffer zone.
  • Local media outlets are taking notice of the closure of Planned Parenthood in Birmingham:

    [Planned Parenthood vice president of external affairs Nora] Spencer did not comment beyond her statement.

    “Planned Parenthood in Birmingham prioritizes patient care, and provides essential reproductive health care to over 1,600 women, men and teens each year,” she said. “We are slowing down our services in Birmingham temporarily in order to upgrade our operations.

    Planned Parenthood Southeast is committed to excellence, and the effort we are taking is to verify that we are doing everything we can to ensure patients have a safe, positive experience while in our care.”

Pro-life blog buzz 11-15-13

by Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

We welcome your suggestions for additions to our Top Blogs (see tab on right side of home page)! Email Susie@jillstanek.com.

  • Clinic Quotes shares an admission from the pro-choice side regarding post-abortion trauma:

    Rosemary Candelario, director of Massachusetts Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, on why pro-choice groups often claim that abortion does not contribute to emotional trauma for women:

    “I think the fear in the [abortion rights] movement is if we admit abortion is hard for some women, then we’re admitting that it’s wrong, which is totally not the case. I’ve heard from women who are having problems dealing with their abortion who are still ardently pro-choice.”

new-obamacare-ad

  • Down on the Pharm discusses the latest sexual research which shows how women (surprise!) don’t actually benefit in any way from casual sex.

    Funny… that’s not what the latest (and tasteless) ProgressNow Colorado ads promoting Obamacare (sample pictured left; click to enlarge) seem to portray.

  • Abortion State gives the firsthand account of being investigated by the Department of Justice simply for attempting to contact abortionist Julie Komarow, M.D., for an interview regarding her involvement with reported wrongdoings at Planned Parenthood. Komarow had previously sought legal action (unsuccessfully) to prevent her name from being mentioned in the interview, and when the writer attempted to contact her for a comment via email, landline and cell phone, she filed a restraining order for harassment.

    Soon, the DOJ began monitoring the writer’s blog and treating the case as a possible FACE Act (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) violation, which could result in heavy fines and jail time. The writer was not contacted to ask about his intentions prior to opening a federal case.

  • American Life League’s Judie Brown asks why, in this sex-saturated culture where chastity is mocked and maligned despite rising STD rates, it is the baby who is deemed the enemy of the feel-good culture:

    … [I]n order for the abortion cartel to continue raking in the money, is has to create at least one, if not two, generations of individuals who will suffer anything for the cause of sexual relations. This is why one-third of Americans today have a sexually transmitted disease.

    Professor emeritus James V. Schall, S.J., commenting on the statistic and the money spent on preventive treatments, opined, “Not only are there these diseases with us but also the millions of abortions which are also the results of failed ‘sexual transmission’ techniques that were designed to prevent the conceptions of children. Contraception methods and sexual education programs have not worked. In fact, they seem to have made the problem worse.”…

    That baby, or any preborn human being at any stage of his development, is not anyone’s enemy. Each is a flesh and blood human being just like you and me.

    The enemy is the force in society that will not rest until every expectant mother detests her child and wants nothing more than to kill him.

MassAbortPlate

  • RealChoice takes a look at some pro-choice state license plates. For some reason, they just don’t seem as pleasing as the pro-life ones.
  • Expose Abortion has many quotes from former abortion workers whose stark revelations shine a light on the mindset of the abortion industry. Former abortion provider Kathy Sparks is quoted as saying, “I remember one of the doctors stating that he could do three abortions in ten minutes and make the same amount of money as delivering one woman full term.”
  • Family Research Council blogs about the mayor-elect of New York City, who has declared war on non-profit pregnancy resource centers who provide services that are free and confidential. Bill DeBlasio shows his true liberal colors – seeking to deny true choice in communities while promoting only one “choice” – abortion.
  • Veteran pro-life educator Scott Klusendorf of Life Training Institute has must-read advice for new pro-life speakers.
  • At Catholic Vote, Michael New points out that many factors could be at fault for Ken Cuccinelli’s failed run for governor of Virginia – however, his pro-life stance isn’t one of them.
  • Live Action releases video of an Albuquerque late-term abortionist at Southwestern Women’s Options explaining the procedure and bragging that people come to Albuquerque from everywhere, due to their lax abortion restrictions. Beautiful Albuquerque, you deserve better than being the late-term abortion capital. November 19th is your chance to speak.
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DOJ continues to lose FACE

2013-01-14_14001/15, 7p: The poll is closed. 91% of you think the DOJ is trying to intimidate pro-lifers.

1/14, 3:08: (See poll at bottom of post.)

Last week President Obama’s Department of Justice lost yet another Freedom of Access to Clinics case when it settled with pro-lifer David Hamilton.

More on Attorney General Eric Holder’s harassment of Hamilton below.

But for those keeping count, here is the losing list of FACE cases brought forth by the Obama DOJ so far (including one not even listed on the DOJ site, US v. Parente):

2013-01-14_1343

As for Hamilton, police arrested him in January 2010 after a deathscort screamed when he touched her at EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

IMG_3919 copyHamilton was attempting to speak with a pregnant mother who was entering EMW for an abortion.

Two deathscorts had locked one arm each behind her and then illegally blockaded the entire sidewalk with their outstretched other arms to keep David from getting past to offer the mom literature.

David moved the arm of one deathscort down to pass her, and she yelled, as they always do, and the police cuffed him, even though the deathscort filed no complaint.

Police later dropped charges – because there were none – but that didn’t stop Holder from attempting to prosecute Hamilton under FACE almost a year later.

The DOJ wanted a $15,000 penalty and got $0. It wanted an injunction to keep David away from EMW and got nada. It wanted $5,000 in damages and got $2,500.

I spoke with David last week. He only settled for damages because the decision would have otherwise been in the hands of a jury.

Dana Cody NEW photo black jacket  white top mouth With soft boarderThanks to Dana Cody, pictured left, and the team at Life Legal Defense Foundation, as well as attorney Vince Heuser, for their help with this case and many other FACE cases.

To date none of Holder’s FACE charges have stuck. One judge has even accused the DOJ of harassment.

Recall the Obama DOJ bragged in 2011 it was “taking a more aggressive approach” against pro-lifers, going so far as to “meet[ ] with abortion-rights groups and medical providers all over the country,” according to NPR.

Also recall Holder’s wife Sharon, an ob/gyn, has a financial stake in the abortion business. She owns a building in Georgia that houses an abortion clinic.

Obama administration’s harassment of pro-lifers gets personal

On July 13 FBI agents Conrad Rodriguez and William Sivley paid a visit to my son-in-law, Andy Moore, at his home.

Andy is a pro-life activist who prays and protests outside the Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center abortion mill in Dallas, where late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd freely acknowledges he “kill[s]” children.

Agents Rodriguez and Sivley told Andy three red flags prompted their visit:

  1. His use of a megaphone outside the mill, a one-time event on March 31, which he stopped and never repeated after police told him he was violating a noise ordinance.
  2. A complaint by the clinic manager that Andy trespassed, which he did not. There was no evidence, yet police gave Andy a warning: “I asked the officer multiple times, ‘Why are you giving me this warning, as I did not trespass?’ All he would tell me was, ‘I’m giving you this warning.’ He did not answer my question.”
  3. Unsubstantiated complaints that Andy may be too aggressive. “One of the agents told me it is acceptable to be aggressive, however there is a line. He gave examples of things which would cross the line, such as making threats of violence, or obstructing vehicle access – violations of the FACE act. I told him in no uncertain terms that I had never done anything like this and had not considered anything like this either.”

Obviously, the charges rose to the level of nada to begin with, certainly not above local law enforcement’s pay grade. Thankfully, Andy videotaped his one and only foray into megaphoning, which was clearly tame and polite:

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But the FBI used these as an excuse to knock on the door, nerve-wracking to begin with, and followed by asking totally inappropriate questions clearly aimed at intimidating Andy, while also launching into a  fishing expedition about me. Per Andy and my daughter, who was home at the time,  here were questions the agents asked:

  • What affiliations do you have including church groups?
  • How long have you known your wife?
  • What belief system makes you believe in your cause?
  • What is your goal in protesting?
  • Do you know why people would make complaints against you?
  • Are there friends of yours or people you’re connected with that you could confidentially tell us are aggressive or abrasive? “Don’t be afraid to tell us.”
  • Are you involved in activism in Austin, since we noticed some entries on abortionwiki?
  • They were REALLY interested in the connection to Jill Stanek – details of internship, New Zealand speaking tour visit, did you get your activist and pro-life ideas from her? Did she train or teach you? Did you meet Jill before or after you became involved in the movement? Was it Jill who “fired you up” to become so active in the movement?
  • They were overly nice saying he wasn’t in trouble and feel free to tell us anything. Encouraged him to keep going back out there, that they represent both sides. ++they are protecting his freedom of speech++ is what they kept saying.
  • They said their task force that deals with these abortion cases also handles Hate Crimes and White Supremacy. Odd grouping with pro-lifers.
  • They knew he was an immigrant.  They said a felony on his record could/would get him deported. “You wouldn’t want to be apart from your wife and newborn.”

Life Legal Defense Fund, one of the pro-life legal firms that has successfully defended pro-lifers against prosecution by Obama’s Department of Justice, has now taken Andy under its wing. Senior Staff Counsel, Allison Aranda, shared her insights in an email:

The Obama administration is essentially engaging in a witch hunt.  From the moment the new administration took office, the DOJ has been targeting peaceful pro-life sidewalk counselors.  They have come out guns blazing on several occasions often bringing allegations that could later not be substantiated or in some cases clearly proven to be false.  Their weapon of choice – the FACE act.  The DOJ is using tactics that amount to legal extortion.  They have filed these frivolous claims against innocent people who don’t have the finances to hire big shot attorneys.  The DOJ then kindly offers to settle the case if the counselor simply agrees to stay so many yards away and pay a couple thousand dollar fine.

Pro-bono legal foundations like LLDF, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Liberty Counsel have taken a stand to defend these innocent pro-lifers.  Thankfully the sidewalk counselors have either had witnesses or video evidence to defend their actions.  The DOJ has outright dismissed charges in two cases, walking away with egg on their face.  In one case, a federal court judge issued a scathing opinion questioning the motives of the DOJ for bringing such unsubstantiated charges in the first place.  The judge suggested that there might have been a conspiracy between the government and the abortion clinic to violate the free speech rights of the pro-life advocates.

It now seems that the unscrupulous Eric Holder is at it again.  This time when the government determined that the evidence wasn’t quite what they thought it would be to proceed on a FACE claim against Andy, they turned their intimidating interrogation into a fishing expedition about the personal life of Jill Stanek.  Targeted bullying by our government because of an individual’s viewpoint and willingness to share that message in the public square is intolerable.  LLDF is committed to aggressively defending the rights of pro-life advocates.  We will not back down, and we will not be threatened.  We will continue to fight so that the freedoms of all are protected and preserved.

It stands to reason that the Obama administration would be interested in me.  This has probably been a long time coming.  But to reiterate Allison’s point, we will not back down, and we will not be threatened.

Life Links 11-8-11

web grab.jpgby JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Pittsburgh area abortion protester and sidewalk counselor Meredith Parente. Parente is accused of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Act for allegedly shoving two abortion clinic escorts. Looking over the FACE Act, I’m struggling to see how shoving volunteer clinic escorts (if it actually happened) would violate the FACE Act. How does shoving clinic escorts impede someone looking for an abortion from entering the clinic?

    The Justice Department press release notes: “The FACE Act prohibits the use of force against any person providing or obtaining reproductive health services, or those seeking to do so, with the intent to injure, intimidate or interfere with that person.”

    Volunteer clinic escorts aren’t providing (unless “providing” is used in an incredibly broad sense) reproductive health services nor are they seeking them.

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(Prolifer)ations 9-9-11

Thumbnail image for blog buzz.jpgby Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

We welcome your suggestions for additions to our Top Blogs (see tab on right side of home page)! Email Susie@jillstanek.com.

  • ProWomanProLife points to a story about Steve Jobs, founder and former CEO of Apple, who was adopted. Imagine if this “unwanted” child had never been born….

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Jivin J’s Life Links 7-20-11

web grab.jpgby JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • OH Gov. John Kasich has signed a post-viability abortion ban:

    HB 78 bans abortions when a doctor determines a fetus can live outside the womb – a condition known as viability, which is typically when a pregnancy is 23 to 24 weeks along. Doctors would be required to test for viability when a woman is 20 weeks pregnant or more.

    The law will take effect after 90 days.

    Here’s the text of the bill.

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