FACE Act Charges Increased Dramatically Under the Obama Administration

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FACE Act Charges Increased Dramatically Under the Obama Administration

Robin Marty

Six people have been accused of FACE Act violations so far during the Obama administration, compared to one case under the Bush administration.

Since Obama entered the White House in 2008, six people have been sued for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a sign that unlike the prior administration threats to access to clinics are being taken more seriously.

The Associated Press reports:

Since Obama’s inauguration, federal lawsuits have been filed against a woman who blocked a car from entering a clinic in West Palm Beach, Fla.; a Texas man who threw his body across the door of a patient waiting area in San Antonio; and a Pennsylvania man who posted on the Internet the names and addresses of abortion providers and extolled his readers to kill them.

Government records obtained by The Associated Press show that in slightly over two years, the Obama Justice Department has filed six lawsuits under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, mostly to seek injunctions and fines. That compares with just one such lawsuit during the entire eight years of George W. Bush.

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Tiller’s slaying “brought home to many of us the terrible potential for violence and the need to use every legal means at our disposal to prevent it,” said Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for Kansas.

Despite the added attention to threats against abortion providers by the administration, however, cases are still being dismissed as “freedom of speech” issues, such as the threats against a Kansas doctor that the judge ruled “not a true threat,” because the letter writer wasn’t necessarily planning to hurt the doctor herself.

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